Former MLB Pitcher Ted Lilly Charged With Insurance Fraud

Ted Lilly, a retired Major League Baseball pitcher, has been charged with felony insurance fraud in California.

Lilly, a California native, earned an estimated $80 million to $100 million in base salary while pitching in the big leagues. He made his MLB debut with the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals) in 1999, and also pitched with the New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Chicago Cubs, before finishing up with Los Angeles Dodgers over a 15-year career.

A two-time All Star, the lefty wrapped up his career with a win-loss record of 130-113 and a 4.14 ERA upon his retirement in 2013.

According to the allegations, Lilly, 39, may have tried to run a scam on an insurance company in connection with an RV accident, The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.

“He has been charged by the California Department of Insurance for allegedly filing a false insurance claim in March relating to his damaged recreational vehicle, worth $210,000, said Nancy Kincaid, a spokeswoman for the agency. The department’s investigation showed Lilly sustained damage in a collision while backing up the vehicle and sought an estimate from a body shop on March 19, Kincaid said. The estimate was $4,600. Then Lilly bought insurance from Progressive on March 24 and claimed the damage on March 28, Kincaid said.”

The $4,600 repair charge for a wealthy ex-ballplayer “is the filthy rich equivalent of us normal people getting arrested for attempting to shoplift a gallon of milk from the grocery store, when you have a $50 bill in your pocket,” The Big Lead observed.

Apparently the body shop entered the original estimate into a database that insurance companies use to verify claims, which is standard operating procedure in the state.

“Progressive Insurance denied Lilly’s claim and red-flagged it as part of a larger operation. About 200 others statewide were arrested or surrendered for similar crimes during the investigation. The suspects include college professors, soccer moms, grandmothers, college students, a Silicon Valley IT executive and insurance agents, [spokeswoman] Kincaid said,” CalCoastNews reported.

Lilly faces charges of filing a false insurance claim, filing a false statement in connection with an insurance claim, and concealing a material fact in connection with an insurance claim. He has reportedly pleaded not guilty and is due back in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on February 5. Three previously scheduled court appearances were apparently postponed.

Ted Lilly could be sentenced to up to five years in prison if ultimately convicted on the charges.

[image credit: bridgetds]