The current condition of Boro Park's Perfect Collision Auto Body Shop is less than ideal after the owner and a worker wound up in jail on Thursday.
King's County District Attorney Charles Hynes says they committed insurance fraud multiple times.
According to the DA, here's how it worked: a car comes into the body shop with minor damage. Then investigators say the employees with Perfect Collision would bang it up a little more then turn in the claim to customer's insurance company, then they get that extra cash and put it in their pockets.
Tipped off by Geico, investigators set up a sting. They took an undercover vehicle and documented the damage through pictures then notified the insurance adjuster BEFORE they brought the car into Perfect Collision. The next day they say they caught the criminals in the act.
District Attorney Charles Hynes said in a press conference on Thursday, "The defendant Elie Berger showed the car to the adjuster who not surprisingly found the damage to the vehicle was much greater than the previous day."
What's more - between the owner's shop and his home -investigators also found $700,000 in cash.
Owner Elie Berger and worker Hershy Greenberger were indicted on four counts of insurance fraud and two counts of grand larceny.
To get their side of the story, PIX 11 went to the body shop in Boro Park.
Berger's friend of 15 years, Nuchem Fried insisted, "He has a heart of gold," adding, "I can't see Elie doing anything like this."
In fact, some friends say he was framed. Joe Kestenbaum said, "This is probably done by his competition or people trying to get him out of business."
Berger bonded out of jail with $25,000 but he wouldn't come to the door of the shop to comment.
While Perfect Collision had to close its doors for the day, friends say the shop will be back in business first thing in the morning.
If convicted, Berger faces up to 14 years in prison and Greenberger faces up to 7 years.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun