Fraud News: Former Adjuster Takes Claims Proceeds, Owners Amend/Add Policy After Crash

March 13, 2018

Ex-Iowa Insurance Agent, Adjuster Charged With Insurance Fraud

A former insurance agent and former claims representative have been charged with felonies following an investigation by the Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau.

Des Moines television station KCCI reports that former insurance agent 37-year-old Nicholas Menough, of Grimes, is charged with fraudulent submissions, forgery and second-degree theft. In the other case, former claim representative 42-year-old Cora Lea Harrington, of Pleasant Hill, has been charged with fraudulent submissions and second-degree theft.

The investigations began in April 2017.

Prosecutors say Menough falsified insurance policy applications and altered financial documents related to the sale of insurance policies to receive advanced sales commissions. Harrington is accused of altering financial documents to claim proceeds for herself.

Menough was arrested Feb. 5. Harrington was arrested by the Pleasant Hill Police Department on Feb. 9.

Texas Tow Company Owner Convicted of Insurance Fraud

The former owner of a towing company was convicted of fraud in Houston after buying insurance coverage after a wreck and then filing a claim with the wrong date. Mohamad Awad, the former owner of Hemo Towing, was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and received seven years or probation after a trial last week conducted by prosecutors from the Texas Department of Insurance with the help of investigators from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

A Texas Department of Public Safety investigation found that Awad added coverage for a tow truck after a wreck. He then filed an insurance claim and lied about when the wreck took place. Awad asked his employees to lie to adjusters and investigators and create fake documents to support the fraudulent claim.

Hemo Towing had offices in Houston, Midland, and Odessa.

Idaho Woman Sentenced for Insurance Fraud

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced a Benewah County woman was sentenced Friday, February 23, for one count of Insurance Fraud.

First District Judge Scott Wayman sentenced 31-year-old Nessa Sullivan of Fernwood after she pleaded guilty in December.

Judge Wayman sentenced Sullivan to three years in prison. He then suspended the sentence and placed her on two years probation. Sullivan was ordered to pay $1,207 in restitution and a fine of $500. The court also ordered her to pay court costs and $300 towards the cost of her public defender. In addition, Sullivan was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. Judge Wayman also ordered 90 days of discretionary jail or labor program to be administered by a probation officer.

An investigation determined that in July 2016 Sullivan struck a deer with her car prior to obtaining coverage through GEICO. She later filed a claim with the insurance company, but did so using a false date of loss. Photos she provided to the GEICO investigator were time-stamped with the actual date of the accident. As a result, GEICO denied the claim.

Upon receiving a referral from GEICO, the Idaho Department of Insurance investigated. Sullivan later confessed that she provided false information on her claim.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Jessica Cafferty in the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit.