Fraud News Around the Nation

July 5, 2016
Missouri Woman Sentenced in Arson for Insurance Scheme

An Independence woman was sentenced to 31/2 years in prison without parole for an arson and insurance fraud scheme.

Tina Shonk was also ordered Tuesday to pay $242,717 in restitution to her victims and $62,364 to the government.

Shonk pleaded guilty in January to participating in a conspiracy to commit arson and wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.

Prosecutors say Shonk and another person set fire to a home she was about to be evicted from for past due rent and then made false claims for insurance.

She and another conspirator later moved into a different house and planned another arson fire but they were arrested before the fire was set.

New Jersey Police Officer, Sister Indicted on Insurance Fraud Charges

Prosecutors say a suspended police officer and his sister have been indicted in connection with an insurance fraud scheme.

Alix Antoine faces charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, insurance fraud and tampering with public records in the indictment handed up Monday by a Monmouth County grand jury. His sister, Patricia Louis of Clifton, is charged with conspiracy to commit official misconduct and insurance fraud.

Prosecutors say Antoine filed false documents enabling his sister to get medical benefits she wasn’t entitled to receive. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 35 years in prison and his sister could get 20 years.

Antoine has served on the Asbury Park force for 12 years. He remains free on $150,000 bail, while his sister was released on her own recognizance after being charged.

Telephone numbers for the siblings could not be located Monday night.

Vegas K-9 officer indicted in insurance fraud, arson case

A veteran Las Vegas, Nev., police K-9 officer has been indicted on felony charges alleging he burned his recreational vehicle trailer in January for the insurance money.

State Attorney General Adam Laxalt said Friday the charges against 36-year-old Jeff Lynn Harper include insurance fraud, theft, attempted theft and arson. They could get him decades in prison.

Harper remains free on bond pending arraignment in Clark County District Court.

His lawyer, Andrew Leavitt, was unavailable Friday to comment.

Leavitt has denied that Harper was responsible for the fire that destroyed the trailer and an all-terrain vehicle inside while they were parked on a highway between Las Vegas and Pahrump.

Harper was arrested in April and suspended without pay pending the outcome of the case.

He joined the department in September 1999.

Louisian Scrap Yard Co-Owner Pleads Guilty in Auto Theft Case

The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office says a scrap yard owner has pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiracy charges in connection with a parish auto theft ring.

In a news release, District Attorney Paul Connick’s office says 48-year-old Harry Sorrell of Slidell entered the plea Thursday morning and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Sorrell was co-owner of a scrap yard with an unindicted co-conspirator. Vehicles that were stolen by members of the theft ring were crushed there – eliminating evidence and providing scrap metal for sale.

So far, six defendants have admitted guilt in the racketeering case. Connick’s office says the ring is believed responsible for nearly a third of auto thefts in Jefferson Parish in recent years.

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