PHILADELPHIA -- Forty-one people in Philadelphia are facing charges in what prosecutors call an elaborate insurance fraud scheme that used dead deer to fake car accidents.
Ronald Galati Sr. is accused of running a $5 million scam out of his auto body shop.
District Attorney Seth Williams said Wednesday that Galati coached customers to claim they'd struck a deer rather than a car. That way, insurance companies would consider them "no fault" accidents and pay the claims without raising the customers' premiums.
Investigators say Galati stored deer carcasses, blood and fur in the back of his shop to use as props.
"They actually kept deer carcasses at their shop and would pour deer blood over cars and they would simulate accidents and take photographs that they called Hollywood photos," Williams said, according to CBS Philadelphia.
Also charged are Galati's wife, son and daughter, several insurance adjusters, tow truck drivers, a city official and a police officer.
Defense attorney Anthony Voci said he couldn't comment specifically on the charges because he hadn't seen the grand jury presentment but that his client is innocent until proven guilty.