Texas Woman Sentenced for $1.2 Million Insurance Fraud

December 9, 2008

Texas State District Court Judge Tracy Holmes has sentenced former insurance company employee Brenda Buckaloo-Merchant to twelve years in prison, the Texas Department of Insurance reported.

Buckaloo-Merchant had previously pleaded guilty to a first degree felony — the theft of $1,208,316 while working as an adjuster for Unitrin Business Insurance Company of Dallas. A first degree felony carries a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison and a minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, and a fine of no more than $10,000.

The indictment and prosecution of Buckaloo-Merchant was the result of an investigation by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and Texas Department of Insurance’s (TDI) Fraud Unit.

On Sept. 25, 2008, Buckaloo-Merchant appeared in court before Judge Holmes and told the court that she used her position at Unitrin to steal over $1.2 million dollars from the insurance company. In describing the scheme to Judge Holmes, Buckaloo-Merchant said she wrote checks from Unitrin to a fictitious health care provider that was, in reality,. Buckaloo-Merchant. In addition to the twelve-year prison sentence, Buckaloo-Merchant has been ordered to pay restitution of $1,208,316 to Unitrin and a $3,000 fine.

Source: Texas Department of Insurance, www.tdi.state.tx.us

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