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Buying insurance after an accident is fraud



The insurance cover always takes effect at 12:01 on the same day as it is issued. Chad Roland LeVasseur had a car accident, called his insurance company and changed his boundaries, and then an hour later reported the loss to the police and the insurer with the help of a lady friend whom he asked to lie to the police about when the accident happened. He appealed his conviction for a second-degree felony felony insurance fraud after evidence was shown to a jury that he changed his insurance coverage after an accident to increase the limits and then reported that the claim occurred after the policy was changed.

I State Of Utah v Chad Roland Levasseur, 2020 UT App 118, No. 20190299-CA, Utah Court of Appeals (August 1

3, 2020), the Utah Court of Appeal considered his appeal with their court planted firmly in his cheek.

BACKGROUND 1

On the night of March 27, 2016, LeVasseur and his best friend then (Friend) "drove, just hang out" in Provo, Utah. After they divorced, Friend went home, but got a phone call from LeVasseur "around midnight-ish" as she pulled into her driveway. In that phone call, LeVasseur said "he had been in an accident" and Friend "offered to help him." Because she "did not know exactly how to get there" to LeVasseur's location, she called him for further directions when she was on her way.

When Friend arrived on the scene, LeVasseur's car was parked "at the curb in pieces of," With "blow injury on the left front." LeVasseur was the only person there. After Friend helped LeVasseur "pick [] everything up" off the road, LeVasseur, acting "[a] a little stressed" and "a little worried", told her that the accident occurred when he "made an operation video and he lost control. LeVasseur showed the Friend video, which depicted him "going up the road, turning" when the camera "fell to the floor." While the video did not show the self-crash, Friend could "hear him crash into the barrier." "before the video stopped.

When the two started" talking about what he was going to do ", LeVasseur said he" did not have full coverage "on his car and mentioned that" he needed to change it before we did anything else. LeVasseur then called his car insurance company (insurance company) to make changes to his policy and asked that his extensive deduction be reduced from $ 2,000 to $ 500 and that the collision coverage be added with a deductible of $ 500. The call took place at 12:25 p.m. March 28, with the policy changes "locked in" at 12:01 at that day.

After calling the insurance company, "LeVasseur" waited a while before calling the police to report the accident, which Friend attributed to LeVasseur's desire to "show time between everything that happens." While waiting, LeVasseur told Friend that he would tell police that when he got to the corner, he turned to miss a deer and crashed. LeVasseur wanted Friend to say she had not seen the crash but had followed "a little behind."

Just before 02.00, LeVasseur reported the accident to the insurance company and claimed his policy for it. He reported that the time of the loss was at 1 p.m. The claim report also included Vänn's name and telephone number. Due to the timing of the police changes and the claim, the insurance company flagged the claim as potentially fraudulent and referred it to one of the company's investigators (Investigator).

Friend, although she was willing to help LeVasseur initially, told the investigator that she had "lied to the police" about the night's events and that LeVasseur had rather than turned to avoid a deer had made an operating video at the time of the accident. She also told the investigator that she was present for the phone call and that the accident preceded the call.

In the end, the insurance company did not pay the claim.

The State charged LeVasseur with a bill to commit fraudulent insurance act because LeVasseur provided a "statement or representation with the knowledge that the statement or performance contains false or fraudulent information about any factual material" when he filed his insurance claim – specifically, whether or not LeVasseur knowingly disclosed incorrect circumstances surrounding his accident.

ANALYSIS

LeVasseur questioned sufficient evidence to support his conviction on two grounds. LeVasseur claimed that Friends' testimony was in itself unlikely and therefore could not support his conviction. He refers to inconsistencies and contradictions in Friends 'testimony and claims that Friends' statements and testimonies about "the events and timing of the car accident were significantly inconsistent, patentedly false and lacked confirmation."

A court must usually accept the jury's assessment of witness credibility. The choice between conflicting testimonies lies within the jury's province. The testimony is in itself improbable and can in the same way be disregarded if it is (1) physically impossible or (2) manifestly false.

The district court denied LeVasseur's directed motion because it held that Friend's testimony was not inherently improbable and that the inconsistencies and contradictions identified by LeVasseur presented a "credibility issue… It is best left to the jury" and was influenced by LeVasseur's request. A friend originally reported to the official that she was following LeVasseur at the time of the accident and then approached him, but at the trial Friend testified that she had not followed LeVasseur at the accident and instead pulled into her driveway when he called her. It is not so much contrary to human experience that a person would initially lie to the police about incidents related to a car accident at the request of her best friend, motivated by a desire to protect him.While the entire witness' testimony about the various calculations is the identified inconsistencies are not of any kind to do Vännes v ittnesbörd in itself unlikely.

LeVasseur's inherent improbability challenge fails for the additional reason that there was other evidence confirming Friends' testimony that LeVasseur knowingly filed a fraudulent insurance claim.

The Court of Appeal concluded that there was sufficient evidence from which the jury could have established that LeVasseur knowingly committed insurance fraud through his allegations of the circumstances of the accident.

Overall, the friend's testimony together with the other circumstances in the evidence constituted sufficient evidence that the jury could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that LeVasseur was aware that the claims he made in his insurance claim about the timing and details of the accident were false.

LeVasseur's conviction was duly confirmed. [19659021] There is no excuse for using an insurance company's legal requirement that each insurance must begin at 12:01 A.M. on the day of issue to obtain additional coverage for a loss acquired after 12:01 A.M. but was bought after the accident. In this way, LeVasseur knew that he was trying to defraud his insurance company and that he had asked his girlfriend to support his false claim. In a criminal case, she refused to agree with him and her testimony, confirmed by other evidence gathered by the insurer's SIU and the police, resulted in a unanimous debt assessment.


© 2020 – Barry Zalma

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to employment as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, handling insurance claims, bad faith insurance and insurance fraud almost equally for insurance fraudsters. policyholder. He also acts as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance-related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and attorney management attorney and more than 52 years in the insurance industry. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and zalma@zalma.com.

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