Kerr: Thankful to local prosecutors for joining fight against insurance fraud
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr today released the following statement announcing a series of recent convictions related to insurance fraud cases investigated by the Arkansas Insurance Department’s Criminal Investigation Division:
“I am extremely proud of the diligent work of our Criminal Investigation Division which led to these convictions across the state. I am also very thankful to the various local prosecutors who joined our fight to root out insurance fraud in order to protect Arkansas consumers.”
Frederick Randle, 46 of England, pleaded guilty in Pulaski County Circuit Court on October 10 to one count of felony insurance fraud stemming from a January 29 parking lot accident in North Little Rock. While waiting for police to arrive to the accident scene, Randle went online to purchase a car insurance policy, then filed a claim with the insurer. He was sentenced to two years of probation and fined $500.
Leslie Richmond, 36 of North Little Rock, pleaded guilty in Lonoke County Circuit Court on October 3 to one count of attempting to commit insurance fraud. Richmond went to the State Revenue Office in Cabot to attempt to renew her car tags where she presented an expired insurance card with the dates changed to make it appear that her insurance was still in effect. She was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $100.
Sherri Ragland, 44 of Dennard, entered a negotiated plea of guilty in Van Buren County Circuit Court on September 30 to one count of insurance fraud and one count of second degree forgery related to insurance claims resulting from a fire which destroyed Ragland’s mobile home. During the claim process, Ragland submitted receipts indicating that she had paid for rental of pasture, storage buildings, and a camper for which she received $12,182 from her insurer. Investigators determined that she did not rent any of the items claimed and the receipts were forged. She was sentenced to four years of probation, fined $750 and ordered to pay restitution of $12,182.
Lance Fortenberry, 37 of Beebe, pleaded guilty in White County Circuit Court on September 29 to one count of felony insurance fraud related to the December 2015 theft of his all-terrain vehicle. Fortenberry filed a claim for the loss of the vehicle in addition to accessories totaling an additional $9,500. Investigators determined that none of the items were on his ATV at the time of the theft. He was sentenced to 30 months of probation and fined $1,000.
Lamario Bell, 32 of Blytheville, pleaded guilty in Mississippi County Circuit Court of September 30 to one count of felony forgery and one count of felony theft of property related to multiple fraudulent medical claims filed against his insurer. Bell provided fictitious and forged medical records to support his claims in which he received $35,000 in payments. Bell was sentenced to five years of supervised probation, 80 hours of community service, and ordered to pay restitution of $35,000.