Runners and cappers are the middlemen in the fraud scheme.

The runner or capper recruits the occupants to be involved in a staged (or paper) accident. The runner or capper has an arrangement with either a medical provider or lawyer or both, getting either a percentage of the take or a set fee per person.

The runner provides the "story" for the occupants. The occupants load into a car and hit the road looking for their victim. Usually, a high dollar car or a business vehicle (including semi- tractor trailers) is the target, as they normally have high dollar coverage. They like to target seniors as well as women. And if you start asking questions, they can be intimidating.

Through various means (see staged/paper accidents) an accident ensues and the occupants all head off to treat with the medical provider and sign up with the lawyer for their soft tissue injuries. Or they may simply just sign the sign-in sheets and be on their way. Using another name they may do it all over again.

Sometimes these accidents go awry and people really get hurt or killed.

  • Alice Ross, a grandmother from Queens, NY, was killed in a staged accident in 2003. She was an innocent victim.
  • Altagracia Arias of Lwarence, MS was killed in a staged accident in which she was a willing participant.
  • Jose Luis Lopez Perez of Los Angeles, CA was killed in a staged accident in which he was a willing participant.

We're guessing the last two hadn't planned on dying.