Rudy Giuliani, a person who seems to spend 97 percent of his day in front of a Fox News camera screaming about how his enemies commit crimes all the time, apparently employs a very special crime-committer of his own. Florida prosecutors now allege a woman in Giuliani's employ committed insurance fraud in Broward County in 2017.
This past Friday, local attorney Michael Gottlieb snapped a few photos of a certain lawyer for our big, salty president creeping through the Broward County Courthouse. It turns out Giuliani was there to act as some sort of character witness for Vanessa D. Ryan, a New Hampshire woman charged with filing a fraudulent car-insurance claim in one of the dumbest ways possible in May 2016. Prosecutors allege she signed up for an insurance policy after getting into a car accident, filed an insurance claim the very next day, and got caught lying to Progressive Insurance about the whole thing.
According to Jose Lambiet, who got Giuliani on the phone over the weekend, the former New York mayor-turned-sewer-dwelling-Ninja-Turtles-villain employs Ryan as a "personal assistant." Despite the fact that Giuliani's main career for the past handful of years has been howling on TV about how Hillary Clinton and various other Democrats should be locked up for various counts of double-secret treason, Giuliani popped into court in downtown Fort Lauderdale to stump for a 32-year-old woman accused of committing some old-fashioned crimes.
According to Broward County court documents, Ryan's alleged scheme was obvious enough that Progressive contacted the state Bureau of Insurance Fraud and demanded an investigation. As of 2016, Ryan had stopped paying for her car insurance, and Progressive closed her account May 10 that year.
But just eight days later, the state says, she was involved in a two-car accident at 9:13 a.m. May 18 and smashed up her silver Toyota. She allegedly called Progressive from the accident scene, and the rep kindly informed her that she was no longer a customer and was out of luck. You'd think a Giuliani confidant could scrounge up some cash to cover the accident costs, but prosecutors say Ryan devised a different plan: fraud.
According to state investigators, Ryan allegedly went on the Progressive Insurance website and signed up for a new insurance policy at 9:23 a.m., just ten minutes after the accident occurred (and, police say, only minutes after she had called Progressive and told them her car was in pieces). Then, prosecutors say, she waited a whole day before filing an insurance claim — which, unfortunately for her, did not throw Progressive Insurance off its game. Court documents state that the company later alerted the state about the possibly fraudulent claim and that Florida investigators interviewed Ryan multiple times in 2017.
"On April 19, 2017, Det. John Fernandez and your affiant covertly recorded a statement from Vanessa, who stated the insurance on her vehicle had lapsed, and she did not know it lapsed until she spoke with someone from Progressive Insurance," a probable-cause affidavit filed in court reads. "She admitted she obtained the insurance policy on her vehicle while on the crash scene and later filed the insurance claim."
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She's charged with two counts of insurance fraud, which are each third-degree felonies. She has pleaded not guilty.
Despite the fact that Giuliani is a former prosecutor who spent much of his time putting poor people of color in prison for petty drug crimes and is an ex-mayor famous for weaponizing the New York City Police Department and letting his cops harass black and brown people, Giuliani reportedly had no issue popping into the Broward courthouse Friday to argue that his friend and employee is just a "young woman" (she was 30 at the time of the alleged crime) who made "a mistake."
"A youngster like her doesn’t want a felony on her record," Giuliani, a man who used to hand out felonies to teenagers, told Lambiet.