Tim Sprinkle of Propertycasualty360.com highlights how obtaining surveillance video of blatant fraudulent offenders in the act of committing their crimes has turned out to be a “funny, viral, and downright educational look into the real world of insurance crimes.”
Video 1: Claimant alleges he was struck by a Mercury insured vehicle while he was riding by on his bicycle. The claimant called police, went to the hospital, and took the insured to court. But a security camera in the parking lot tells a much different story:
If you are not able to view this video, it shows the claimant striking the back of the insured vehicle with his HAND to create the sound of an impact and immediately jumping off his bike, landing on the ground.
Video 2: Legitimate accidents happen all the time, but Mercury insurance highlights this next incident in which the insured claimed that a repair van rear-ended them, injuring the two passengers in the vehicle. There was a big problem, however. The driver of the repair van was ADAMANT in denying that he rear-ended the insured. Security footage was drawn thereafter:
If you are not able to view this video, it shows the insured pulling up to a light, stopping, throwing the vehicle in reverse, and slamming backwards into the repair van.
Sprinkle says it best with, “You can’t cure stupid. But you can videotape it.”
We have all seen the outrageously flashy Kia Soul commercials featuring life-size hamsters dancing to Lady Gaga hits. But what you haven’t seen is that one of these energetic hamsters is about to become the face of disability fraud.
According to the Associated Press, Leroy Barnes, 27, of Los Angeles, California has been charged with disability fraud in the state of California after collecting $51,000 in workers compensation benefits in the years of 2010 and 2011 after submitting a disability claim for a piece of ceiling falling on him.
The California Department of Insurance begs to differ, as they identified that Barnes starred in at least one Kia commercial, performed in a rap group, and performed as a backup dancer with Madonna, Kelly Rowland and Chris Brown.
Barnes has been arrested and has posted bail.
For the insurance and legal industry, using a private investigator has unlimited perks. We aren’t afraid to do the dirty work. The training we bestow upon our investigators is unprecedented to ensure accurate, timely results. Sometimes, we forget just how great it is to seek the help of a professional private investigation firm. One of the greatest advantages in hiring a private investigator is that with so little, we can give you so much. Let us explain…
Our endless resources and proprietary databases enable us to help you reach beyond your limits and acquire crucial information for every investigation. Even if we only have a name and date of birth, or just a social security number, or maybe just an address, we are able to uncover a wealth of information about your claimant/subject.
From just one small piece of information, we are able to develop the bigger picture for you, uncovering information about your subject including, but not limited to:
- Current address(es)
- Address history
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number(s)
- Birth records
- Death records
- Marriage records
- Divorce filings
- Current and/or historical property ownership
- Mortgage information
- Identify secured lenders
- Identify related party property transactions
- Current market value of real property
- Locate bankruptcy records
- Map out relationships/relatives/associates of your subject
- Identify lawsuits
- Criminal records
- Locate home/cell phone numbers
- Identify owner of home or cell phone number
- Determine owners of corporation
- Identify business affiliations/professional licenses
- Uncover judgment and lien filings
- Research family history
- Find assets/hidden assets
- Find current or historical boat/aircraft registrations
- Locate bank account information
- Locate significant inheritances
- State and federal political contributions
- Identify UCC filings
- Obtain driving record history (in applicable states)
- Find current vehicle registrations/insurance (in applicable states)
- Find historical vehicle registrations/insurance (in applicable states)
- Identify online social networking profiles
- Identify email addresses/usernames
- Paint the picture of a person’s lifestyle/habits/hobbies/etc.
- Identify and confirm education history
- Medical history
All of this information is available at our fingertips. Sure, there are individuals that don’t have much of a paper trail dragging behind them, and not every piece of information listed above applies to every claimant or subject, but we can sleep at night knowing that if it’s out there, we will find it. You just have to hire the right investigator!
Businessinsurance.com tells the story of London native and businessman, David Hammond, who proposed to his girlfriend with a €20,000 (equivalent to $33,000 in American money) engagement ring. As is the norm today, the future bride-to-be posted a picture of her shiny new rock on Facebook, which got her fiancé in big trouble.
Before proposing, David Hammond submitted an insurance claim for the engagement ring, claiming it had been stolen in Brazil while the couple was on vacation. Hammond reported the “theft” to the Rio de Janeiro police in January of 2014, and filed the insurance claim in the United Kingdom after returning home.
After the “theft” had occurred, underwriters at Aqueduct Underwriting Ltd. found the picture of the engagement ring that Hammond’s new fiancé posted on Facebook. Upon contacting him, he told loss adjusters that he had found the ring and withdrew his claim.
Hammond was charged and plead guilty to one count of insurance fraud.
According to Claims Journal, more New Jersey residents have been charged for filing fraudulent applications to receive Superstorm Sandy aid.
Carol Suto, 53, of Clifton and Debra Weigman, 56, of Berkeley Township submitted claims stating that their damaged homes were their primary residences, according to the acting Attorney General, John Hoffman.
Both received Superstorm Sandy aid after submitting claims. According to Claims Journal, “Suto received $31,900 in federal grants, including $2,270 in rental assistance and $29,630 for home repairs. Weigman got $13,373 in federal funds, including $5,553 for personal property damage and $7,820 for rental assistance.”
Investigators determined that Suto’s damaged Middletown Township home was a vacant investment property which she planned to renovate. Weigman was actually evicted from the home she was leasing in Seaside Heights two weeks prior to Superstorm Sandy’s hit.
Suto has been charged with theft by deception and unsworn falsification, and Weigman has been charged with attempted theft by deception and unsworn falsification. If convicted, both face more than six years in prison.
The staff at ICU Investigations performs background investigations for a multitude of trades, including the insurance industry, legal industry, law enforcement, even personal matters. Regardless of the industry, the reasons for conducting such an in-depth report vary greatly.
For the insurance/legal/law enforcement industries, a background check is helpful in finding the following information:
- Social Networking Activity
- Social Security Numbers
- Professional Licenses
- UCC Filings
- Corporate Affiliations
- Criminal History
- Medical History
- Prior Claims
- Address History
- Spousal/Relative Names
- …and more!
ICU Investigations also provides criminal background checks, sex offender searches, license verifications, education verifications, employment verifications, and many more services that give businesses all the tools and information needed to successfully screen all potential new hires.
ICU’s Pre-Employment Screening helps businesses by:
- Supplying the most current and accurate results
- Faster turnover rates while providing information needed to hire the most skilled and qualified candidates
- Reducing risk to reputation associated with employee misconduct
- Quickly identify at-risk hiring decisions
Lastly, personal background checks, often used in dating and prenuptial situations, uncover information about a person’s character and past. They are also used for domestic help screening such as nannies, housekeepers, and personal assistants. Personal background checks offer you peace of mind when making decisions about the future.
There are a variety of reasons for conducting personal background searches on individuals. These include:
- When Accepting New Tenants: Landlords and apartment rental companies will often perform civil and criminal background searches of individuals or businesses before accepting a new tenant in order to protect their property, fellow tenants, and their financial interests.
- Before Trusting Child Care Workers, Maids, & Nanny’s: Before welcoming strangers into your home or trusting strangers to provide care for your children, many individuals will perform a background search. This will reveal any dishonesty or undesirable information that the person may have tried to hide. In this way, civil and criminal background searches can protect you and your loved ones from harm.
- When Starting a New Relationship: With the increasing rates of divorce and the changing circumstances of how individuals meet, individuals often choose to perform background searches on their significant other before taking the next step in a relationship to become more serious, move in together, or get married. A civil and criminal background investigation can reveal a person’s honesty and uncover any information they may have tried to keep hidden.
- During a Due Diligence Process: When buying a business or investing in a business, a thorough background search of the individuals or companies involved is an important way to protect investors.