La. State Police Arrest 7 for Various Insurance Fraud Schemes

June 12, 2007

The Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud and Auto Theft Unit announced the recent arrests of seven individuals, including one insurance agent, on insurance fraud and theft warrants. The arrests continue as the Insurance Fraud and Auto Theft Unit focuses its efforts on catching persons who attempt to gain financially from insurance fraud and disaster fraud related activities, the LSP said.

John Henry Strong, of Mulberry Street, Eudora, Ark., was arrested on May 25, 2007, after filing a fraudulent auto theft report. Strong told the West Carroll Parish Sheriff’s Office that his 2004 Dodge Ram was stolen while he was fishing near Jones, La.

Strong filed an insurance claim and his insurer issued a check in the amount of $20,555.00 payable to Strong and the vehicle’s lien holder. However, Strong’s daughter was found to be in possession of the vehicle, with his permission, after she was stopped for speeding in Kansas. Strong was arrested and charged in West Carroll Parish with Insurance Fraud and Felony Theft.

Patrick Richard, of 7th Avenue, Lake Charles, La., was arrested on May 29, 2007. Richard filed a claim with his insurer for Additional Living Expenses (ALE) after Hurricane Rita. Richard submitted for reimbursement a hand written receipt and letter purportedly from his mother indicating she had charged him $300 a day to stay at her home. The total amount of the fictitious receipt was $10,500.00.

Richard’s mother denied ever charging her son for his stay and Richard admitted to Troopers he generated the fraudulent documents in an attempt to recoup his losses from the Hurricane. Richard was arrested and charged in Calcasieu Parish with Insurance Fraud.

Dionne Marie Williams, a.k.a. Dion Smith, of Billineys Park Drive, Katy, Texas, was arrested on May 31, 2007. Williams is believed to have filed false medical bills with her insurer. Williams told her insurer that her three minor children had to be treated at a medical facility in Hammond, La., after an automobile crash. However, the medical facility verified the children had never been treated there.

Williams was arrested near Houston after the warrant for her arrest was entered into the National Crime Information Computer (NCIC). She was extradited back to Louisiana where she will be charged with Automobile Insurance Policy Fraud in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Christopher Bonier, of Carrolls Camp, Chestnut, La., and Liza Telsee, of Lebrum Street, Campti, La., were arrested on June 5, 2007, after they intentionally crashed the tractor portion of a tractor-trailer for the sole purpose of filing fraudulent property damage and bodily injury insurance claims.

The State Police investigation revealed Telsee and Bonier staged the crash by disconnecting a flatbed trailer from the tractor, then steering the tractor off the road into a nearby tree. The two claimed the trailer was defective and separated from the tractor while the vehicle was traveling at 55 miles per hour – but the evidence at the scene clearly did not match their statements. Bonier and Telsee were arrested and charged with Insurance Fraud in Red River Parish.

Michael Donald Graves, of East Texas Avenue, Bossier City, La., was arrested on June 6, 2007. In September 2005, Graves attempted to file an insurance claim on his 1996 BMW reporting the front bumper, lower cowling and undercarriage was damaged after it lunged forward and struck a curb. The claim was denied, however, because Graves’ insurance was not in effect. Graves activated his insurance the next day and attempted to file another claim for the same damage – the claim was denied.

In April 2006, Graves purchased insurance on the same vehicle with a different insurance company. Then in August, he filed a claim for the same damage that had occurred in September of 2005. The insurer paid Graves over $3,800.00 before learning of his fraud. Troopers arrested Graves and booked him into the Caddo Parish Jail on a charge of Insurance Fraud.

Lastly, Kristin Childers, of Summer Grove, Shreveport, La., was arrested on June 7, 2007. Troopers believe Childers, a licensed Louisiana agent, created at least 78 fraudulent insurance applications and submitted them to her employer. As a result, she received in excess of $15,800 in advance commissions she was not entitled to.

Troopers also learned Childers failed to report a felony theft conviction on a renewal insurance producer application which she submitted to the Louisiana Department of Insurance. Childers was arrested and charged in Caddo Parish with Felony Theft and Filing False Public Records. She was also issued a Cease and Desist Order by the Louisiana Department of Insurance.

Source: Louisiana State Police

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