Kerr: We will continue our fight against insurance fraud
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr today released the following statement regarding the recent securing of guilty pleas from a Pope County woman for theft of property and a Hot Springs County woman for insurance fraud in cases handled by AID’s Criminal Investigation Division:
“I am proud of the hard work by our investigators which resulted in guilty pleas for fraud against insurance companies. Fraud translates to higher premiums for Arkansans, which is why AID will continue its fight against it.”
On May 17, Courtney Lawrence of Malvern plead guilty in Hot Springs County Circuit Court to one count of insurance fraud. Lawrence was sentenced to three years probation, a $1,000 fine, and court costs. In October 2012, a fire destroyed the home belonging to Lawrence and her then-husband, who divorced shortly after the fire. Nearly two years later, Lawrence submitted a receipt for $2,611.58 from a Hot Springs business to State Farm Insurance for the replacement of furniture destroyed in the fire. In an attempt to verify the claim, a State Farm representative determined the hand-written receipt was a fabrication as the business only generated computer receipts and that Lawrence did not appear in its database. When confronted with this information, Lawrence admitted to purchasing the furniture off a truck and that the driver wrote out the receipt.
On May 5, Kimberly Chambers of Hector plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of theft of property in relation to a fraudulent insurance claim. In January 2013, Chambers reported someone entered the home she owned with her then-husband through an unlocked window and stole several items, including four pistols, hand tools, jewelry, coins, clothing, and a small document safe. Farm Bureau issued a check for $3,334.85 to settle the loss claim. In 2014, Chambers admitted to a Farm Bureau representative in Russellville that there was an actual burglary at her residence, but she had listed items that were not actually stolen to cover her policy’s deductible and make a profit. Chambers was sentenced to one year of probation, an $850 fine, court costs, and ordered to pay full restitution to Farm Bureau Insurance.