4 Plead Guilty in West Virginia Power Surge Scam

May 25, 2012

Four West Virginians have pleaded guilty in federal court to filing bogus claims for power surge property damage.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Charleston said Monday that Jonathan Shaffer and Tiffany Shaffer, both of Charleston, and Bryan Javins and Jeanette Boggs, both of Nitro, pleaded guilty to mail fraud. Each admitted that they colluded with former AEP property-damage claims adjuster Deborah Farmer in the scheme.

They submitted false claims with AEP related to power-surge damage to homes. The defendants each got checks from AEP, and give a portion of them to Farmer and other defendants. Farmer pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and admitted she orchestrated the scheme. Two other co-defendants pleaded guilty and also await sentencing.

AEP paid nearly $600,000 for 57 fraudulent claims.

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