True Crime of Insurance Fraud Video Number 59

The Brothers Ben-Cohain

See the full video at  and at

In 1990 Moshe Ben-Cohain and Menashe Ben-Cohain started a course of conduct that led to their arrest for insurance fraud. They failed to appear after posting bond and are, along with their co-conspirator, Raz Rosenberg, fugitives.

The Ben-Cohain brothers, quite by accident, came upon an imaginative fraud. The Los Angeles County District Attorney, after a lengthy investigation, charged them with violation of Penal Code § 550, insurance fraud, among others related crimes.

The Ben-Cohain brothers operated a small furniture assembly facility in Los Angeles County. They imported knocked-down children’s furniture (made of composition wood and Formica laminates) from Israel. They hoped to sell it to wealthy people in Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles who wished to support the State of Israel. The quality of the merchandise, however, was not high and the Ben-Cohain brothers had difficulty making a profit.

In 2019 the rains came to Southern California and a skylight in their industrial building leaked some water onto a small amount of their composition board furniture. They called their insurance agent, reported a claim, and with invoices for most of the merchandise they presented and received $75,000 for their actual water damage loss.

Shortly thereafter they called the insurer and a claim was presented for $1,000,000. The insurer, unsuspecting, retained salvors to inventory the damaged furniture and determine if any had a value in salvage. While the salvors were doing their work, one laborer came up to him and whispered:

“Senior, no es accidente!”

Although the salvor spoke no Spanish he understood what was said to him.

The fraud investigator, Martin Sandiego of the Department of Insurance fraud division, commenced the criminal investigation that resulted in a presentation of the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. After considerable work by American Indemnity, its counsel and almost a year of detailed investigation by the Fraud Division, the Los Angeles County District Attorney filed seven felony counts against each brother for insurance fraud and grand theft.

They arrested both brother’s Ben-Cohain while they were parked illegally near a night club on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. After spending a weekend in the County Jail, the brothers were released on $75,000 cash bonds. They left town and forfeited bail.

Besides million dollar frauds, like that attempted by the Ben-Cohain brothers, effort must be made to bring to justice those fraudsters who avoid attention by committing insurance fraud for small amounts of money repeatedly.

The bail bondsman travelled to Israel to collect the $150,000 his company was required to pay when they defaulted and escaped to Israel. He found them only to have his demand for money met with two UZI machine guns threatening his life. Applying good common sense the bail bondsman returned to California and wrote off the debt on his tax return.


Insurance fraud is often successful because an insurer makes it too easy to collect whatever the insured asks for on a legitimate insurance claim only to tempt, as the Ben Cohain brothers were tempted to go forward with a fraudulent claims for one million.

(c) 2022 Barry Zalma & ClaimSchool, Inc.

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 54 years in the insurance business. He is available at and

Subscribe to Zalma on Insurance at

Subscribe to Excellence in Claims Handling at

Write to Mr. Zalma at;;; daily articles are published at Go to the podcast Zalma On Insurance at; Follow Mr. Zalma on Twitter at; Go to Barry Zalma videos at at; Go to Barry Zalma on YouTube-; Go to the Insurance Claims Library –

About Barry Zalma

An insurance coverage and claims handling author, consultant and expert witness with more than 48 years of practical and court room experience.
This entry was posted in Zalma on Insurance. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to True Crime of Insurance Fraud Video Number 59

  1. Steve Thompson says:

    Than you for reminding me of how much fun I had investigating insurance fraud after my career with the CHP. American States Insurance Company was a great company to work for.
    Steve Thompson

    • Barry Zalma says:

      The pleasure was mine, Steve. You did a great job on the investigation and the insurer showed true courage in refusing to pay anything to the brothers, whose name was changed to protect the guilty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.