By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  The Philadelphia district attorney’s office today unveiled a massive indictment accusing nearly four dozen people of involvement in an insurance fraud scheme allegedly led by a center city attorney who killed himself last week.

DA Seth Williams described a scheme that he says defrauded 21 insurance companies of some $400,000 over seven years.

According to Williams, “runners” — or recruiters — would convince people, sometimes homeless people, to stage “slip and fall” accidents outside of homes with broken sidewalks, then hire attorney Andrew Gaber (top left photo) to file claims against the homeowner’s insurance.

“In order to cement these fraudulent claims, the runners would instruct the fraudulent clients to call 911 and have fire rescue transport them to a local hospital for emergency treatment,” Williams said today.

He says Gaber was to have turned himself in just before the news conference but took his own life last week, after his bank accounts were frozen.

Gaber’s attorney says he was prepared to plead not guilty.