Fraud News: Fake Property Claim, Staged Crashes and Workers’ Comp Fraud

September 20, 2017
Mississippi Woman Arrested for Insurance Fraud

A woman has been arrested for allegedly trying to defraud an insurance company by claiming her property was destroyed in a fire at her home in Mississippi.

Attorney General Jim Hood, in a news release Tuesday, said 42-year-old Matoya Hillie Reaves, of Lexington, was arrested last week on insurance fraud, wire fraud, and false pretense charges.

Hood says Reaves attempted to defraud Liberty Mutual Insurance Company by filing false claims, including fake invoices appearing to be from Ashley Furniture and other businesses, for items she claimed were destroyed in a fire at her home. The indictment states Reaves received unlawful payments in excess of $500.

Bond information for Reaves was not immediately available. If convicted on all counts, Reaves faces up to 18 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

4 in West Virginia Sentenced for Roles in Staged Crashes

Federal authorities say a West Virginia man has been sentenced to almost three years in prison for a staged vehicle crash, faked injuries and false insurance claim for a $41,000 settlement.

According to prosecutors, 34-year-old Michael Sine, of Fairmont, also was ordered this week to repay more than $74,000 after pleading guilty to mail fraud for the 2013 Marion County crime.

In a related case, 26-year-old Bryce Martin, of Fairmont, was sentenced to six months from a staged crash, faked injuries and false insurance claim in 2012 in Harrison County. He was ordered to repay $152,000.

Also, 35-year-old Eric Warner, of Clarksburg, was sentenced to 18 months and ordered to repay $152,000 from that crash.

And 38-year-old Chasity Costilow, of Clarksburg, was sentenced to 21 months and ordered to repay $65,000 from a staged 2012 crash in Marion County.

New Jersey Postal Worker’s Photos Spur Insurance Fraud Charge

A former postal worker who had claimed a wrist injury prevented him from working posted photos of himself zip-lining and rappelling, state authorities said Monday as they announced insurance fraud and theft charges.

Robert McGeehan, of Lower Township, is accused of stealing more than $75,000 in federal workers’ compensation benefits by falsely claiming an on-the-job fall rendered him medically unfit to work as a letter carrier.

Postal service investigators said they also recorded him doing strenuous yard work, including using a chain saw and a hand saw and throwing large logs.

A telephone number for McGeehan could not be located Monday, and it wasn’t known if he had an attorney who could comment on the accusations.

McGeehan, 59, injured his wrist in February 2008 when he slipped on some ice. He had arthroscopic surgery seven months later and eventually was deemed fit for light duty, but he disputed that finding and turned down several offers of less physically-demanding positions within the postal service, authorities said.

To corroborate his workers’ compensation claim, McGhee has consistently submitted examination findings by his personal doctor, authorities said.

McGeehan posted the vacation photos in July 2015. While traveling, authorities said he left an electronic signature on an agreement to accept risks and waive liabilities for certain activities, including “zip lines, rope swings, cargo net traverses, mechanical rappels and climbing.”

He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on both counts, authorities said.

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