Thursday, January 26, 2012

Anti-fraud group releases its "Hall of Shame" for 2011

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud has compiled its annual "Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame" list. And this batch is pretty horrifying:

  • A Rhode Island radio DJ who wanted to upgrade her home and pool had several friends simulate storm damage to her home -- smashing a hole in her roof with a tree limb, messing up the pool, etc. The problem: The weather was fair and in the 70s that day. And one of the DJ's accomplices was caught on an unrelated federal wiretap bragging about the job.

  • Another home-arson case involved a California couple who hired a man to burn down their home. The man used a lot of gasoline, leading to a blast that left him horribly burned. He died later that day. The couple went to prison.

  • There are several others, but we'll end with what's probably the strangest case. A mortuary workers and medical worker faked the death of a man who'd never existed. There was even a grave. And a funeral service. Using forged documents, the workers and accomplices had taken out $950,000 in life insurance policies on the fictitious man.
When one company had doubts, the workers exhumed the coffin, filling it with a mannequin, cow meat, and bones before hauling it to a crematorium. But when they tried to bribe a doctor to forge medical records, he instead cooperated with investigators and recorded the conversations. One of the workers was sentenced to two years in prison, the other other is awaiting sentencing.