Allstate Insurance Company, a publicly held personal insurer in the US, has filed an insurance fraud claim against 21 New York-area defendants, seeking to recover more than $5m.

The complaint specifically cites 17 laypersons and lay entities illegally owned and controlled three professional acupuncture corporations and used them to submit fraudulent billing to Allstate.

The lawsuit was filed following an investigation by Allstate’s Special Investigative Unit and seeks reimbursement for personal injury protection benefits Allstate paid on behalf of its customers during timeframes specified in the lawsuit.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants submitted or facilitated the submission of claims for acupuncture services through professional corporations that were never eligible to collect no-fault insurance benefits.

Since 2003, Allstate has filed 33 fraud lawsuits in New York, seeking nearly $180 million in damages.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the state of New York is in an insurance fraud crisis and no-fault fraud is costing New Yorkers hundreds of millions of dollars year-after-year.