“I live my life to cheat insurance companies. My high every day is to cheat insurance companies.” So went the mantra of body-shop owner and Philadelphia mob associate Ronald Galati Sr.
Bloody deer parts and dozens of setup car crashes were the heart of Galati’s $5-million soaking of auto insurers with inflated car repair bills. And in mob style, he nearly had a witness shot.
Galati ran a network of corrupt insurance adjusters, tow-truck drivers and a Philadelphia police officer, plus his own repair customers. He was an associate of Philadelphia mobsters, even employing the wife of a reputed mobster.
Galati stashed deer blood and frozen deer parts in his back office. He dismantled car parts to look damaged, then smeared the blood, deer parts mud and grass over the cars. Filthy and gory — and effective.
Fake collisions with wayward geese and a dog added to the take. He crunched other cars with sledgehammers to inflate damage — and insurance payouts.
Crooked adjusters took blurry “Hollywood photos” of the messes, then made inflated repair estimates. Galati drilled insurers with bloated repair bills.
“I live my life to cheat insurance companies. My high every day is to cheat insurance companies,” said Ronald Galati Sr. He bribed a Philadelphia police officer to rubber-stamp fake crash reports to support false insurance claims.
Hoods were hired to shoot witness Joseph Rao in the head. Rao was a friend, yet disposable. Galati called off the hit to have his daughter’s boyfriend shot for unrelated reasons — he survived three bullet wounds.
Crew members went to customer homes late at night. They damaged the customers’ parked cars with screwdrivers and knives. They also broke car windows and punctured tires. The unknowing owners took their banged-up cars back to Galati’s body shop. He overbilled insurers for more inflated repair costs.
Galati paid a crooked repair customer to make 11 fake vandalism claims.
Skillful courtroom work by the Philadelphia DA earned Galati up to 29 years and four months in state prison.
Ron Galati cheated insurers, but couldn’t cheat justice.
By James Quiggle
January 17, 2017