Virginia Preacher Pleads Guilty to Insurance Fraud

June 30, 2008

A Culpeper, Va., preacher reportedly pleaded guilty to fraudulent workers’ compensation claims and Virginia state income tax evasion.

The Virginia State Police (VSP) said its insurance fraud program received information that Charles V. Shifflett received workers’ compensation benefits while he was also receiving two paychecks in the amount of $700.

Special Agent Dennis Dodson is said to have found claims dating as far back as November of 2000 and two different active insurance polocies.

There were also said to be discrepancies in how Shifflett and his wife reported their income to the Virginia Department of Taxation. A joint investigation with the VSP apparently uncovered the Shifflets were manipulating their church’s pay roll, workers’ comp and tax returns to benefit themselves financially. The VSP said Shifflett received more than $27,000 in fraudulent workers’ comp benefits over a six-year period.

Culpeper County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Dale Durrer reported he charged Shifflet with 50 felony counts and one misdemeanor of obtaining money by false pretenses, grand larceny of checks, making materially false statements on a Virginia Income Tax Return and making materially false statements in connection with a workers’ compensation award.

Shifflett reportedly pleaded guilty to three felonies for filing false information with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission; two felonies for obtaining money by false pretenses from Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company; three felonies for obtaining money by false pretenses from Church Mutual Insurance Company; nine felonies involving obtaining money by false pretenses from Calvary Baptist Church, where he was a minister; and three felonies and one misdemeanor of making materially false statements on a Virginia tax return.

Shifflett’s bond was said to have been revoked and he will reportedly remain in jail until sentencing on Oct. 8, 2008. Restitution, if any, will be set at that time. As part of the plea agreement, the charges against Janice Shifflet were dismissed.

Source: Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program.

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