Recent investigations conducted by the Ohio insurance department’s fraud unit have led to three indictments of Ohioans attempting to defraud insurance companies, according to a statement released by insurance department.
The lead case involved Fairfield County resident Brenda Johnson who allegedly swindled more than $300,000 from various insurance companies in the state.
A Fairfield County Grand Jury returned a 13-count indictment against Johnson which includes charges of insurance fraud, theft, money laundering, failure to file an income tax return, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the first degree which carries a possible 10-year prison sentence. In all, Johnson is facing a possible prison sentence of more than 36 years and forfeiture of her residence at 9050 Carlton Rd., Stoutsville, Ohio.
Johnson, who allegedly used more than seven aliases in applying for insurance policies, is accused of filing numerous fraudulent claims with several different insurance companies, resulting in total losses estimated at more than $300,000. The scheme, which began in 1998, includes allegations of staged car crashes and suspicious fires.
Other investigations by the department’s fraud unit that have recently led to convictions are:
Richard A. Pollard; Cuyahoga County; $42,000: Richard A. Pollard of Cuyahoga County pled guilty to five counts, which included insurance fraud, theft, falsification, forgery, and passing a forged instrument. The amount of the fraud was approximately $42,000. Insurers noticed possible fraudulent medical documents that were filed as a result of an automobile accident and contacted the fraud unit, which opened an investigation. Pollard was sentenced by the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas to six months’ house arrest, five years’ probation, and ordered to pay restitution to the insurance companies involved in the fraud.
Vanessa Fragmin; Marion County: Vanessa Fragmin pled guilty in the Marion County Common Pleas Court to one count of felony insurance fraud for making a fraudulent claim with Utica Mutual Insurance Company. She was sentenced to two years of community control sanctions and 12 days in jail. Fragmin claimed she was injured by a metal screw found in an order of Wendy’s french fries. The insurer noticed possible fraudulent medical documents that were filed and contacted the fraud unit, which opened an investigation.
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