A man prosecutors said was a leader of a conspiracy that involved bribing 911 operators, hospital workers, and police officers to obtain the confidential information of tens of thousands of New York and New Jersey motor vehicle accident victims, has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Jelani Wray of Brooklyn, New York, was also ordered to forfeit $2,200,000 and pay a fine of $250,000, according to Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Williams said Wray previously pled guilty on October 12, 2021, to making payments of bribes and gratuities to an agent of a federally funded organization.
After the U.S. Attorney charged Wray and 26 other defendants in November 2019, officials said 25 of the defendants pleaded guilty and the remaining two had their prosecutions deferred. Wray is the sixteenth defendant sentenced; 10 defendants have been sentenced to serve time in prison. To date, the defendants have also been ordered to pay approximately $5 million in forfeiture from this scheme.
Prosecutors said Wray received millions of dollars in illegal profits from his involvement in the various aspects of this scheme. In addition to corrupting 911 operators, hospital workers and police officers, the scheme deprived injured car accident victims of a choice in medical providers and attorneys and subjected them to unwanted medical treatments. The scheme resulted in the submission of millions of dollars in false medical reimbursement claims, officials said.
According to the allegations in the Indictment and court documents, the scheme took place in New York and New Jersey from about 2013 through 2019. As part of the scheme, Wray personally bribed and arranged for others to pay bribes to obtain confidential information of motor vehicle accident victims. Using this information, Wray and his co-conspirators contacted victims and steered them to clinics and lawyers handpicked by Wray and his associates. These clinics and lawyers then paid Wray and his associates kickbacks for these referrals, which they distributed to co-conspirators as payments and bribes.
According to court documents, Wray concealed his bribery of the 911 operators by providing them with prepaid “burner” phones, using encrypted messaging applications to communicate with them, and by assigning them code names.
Source: Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York
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