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Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE presents videos so you can learn how to commit insurance fraud and what it takes to discourage or defeat insurance fraud.
Louie made a living buying and selling used cars in Salt Lake City. He would go to a dealer’s auction and buy a slightly damaged vehicle, take it to a store, clean it up, paint it and sell it to dealers in the city center.
Fifty cars passed through Louie’s hands each month. He made a relatively good living with between $ 500 and $ 2,000 on each transaction. Louie was greedy. The switch had no moral character. Louie was dishonest. If he could earn $ 1,000 extra on a sale by turning back the odometer 10,000 miles, he turned back. If he could sell a car for $ 1,000 extra by smearing grease on the seams where the repairs from an accident had been made, he would crawl under the car and spread the grease.
Everyone liked Louie. He was a friendly variety. Louie had no problem making friends. Everyone at the car auction knew him. Louie was a pro. He only bought used cars that he could make look good and sell. He never bought bad cars. The switch always paid for its purchases in cash.
If Louie had a weakness, it was skiing. Every winter, he drove from Salt Lake to the mountains of Utah and skied. He owned an apartment in Park City that he used when he did not have a tenant for the apartment.
A FRAUD IS BORN
What he saw as the need for the dream cabin drove Louie to crime. One of his acquaintances, a tow truck operator, told him that a foreclosure sale for storage fees was about to take place on a Chevy pickup for a four-wheel-drive crew cab that Louie could buy for $ 250. The pickup had been declared a total loss by the insurance company after it was driven head-on into a sixteen-wheeler while driving in the wrong direction on the highway. Louie already had a four-wheel drive Chevy crew cab in his warehouse. His mind began to spin with cunning criminal thoughts.
The insurance company’s investigators were ready to pay Louie the full stated value of the insurance until he received a declaration of total car theft from Louie. Louie represented in the declaration that the truck had an automatic transmission and a petrol engine. The investigator knew, from his experience with vehicle identification numbers, that the VIN number identified that this truck had a five-speed standard gearbox and a diesel engine. He was confused.
The investigator then searched the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) computer for information about the vehicle. The computer informed the investigator that the vehicle had been involved in a major car accident just thirty (30) days before Louie insured it. The vehicle had been declared a total loss by its insurer. The NICB received a copy of the former insurer’s file, including photographs showing the total destruction of the vehicle.
Luckily, a knowledgeable adjuster, the massive database maintained by the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the DMV investigators’ deposit stopped an almost perfect crime.
When news of Louie’s arrest, conviction and conviction reached the car market, reported thefts in the Salt Lake City area fell by 10% over the next six months.
Although insurance fraud seems to be a simple and safe crime to commit, it is still a crime and failure to effectively pursue a fraudulent claim can result in imprisonment. This case explained to the public that fraud is not worth the effort when it can result in jail time.
(c) 2022 Barry Zalma & ClaimSchool, Inc.
Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his internship to the position of insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims management, non-insurance and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as a lawyer for insurance coverage and claims management and more than 54 years in the insurance industry. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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