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The Fraud Report

Pet Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Arson, Insurance Fraud, Cruelty

by FraudReport 24. October 2014 11:13

Back in January, 27 puppies and dogs became the stars of a treacherous “tail;” they were all inside a Las Vegas pet shop when the owner of that shop attempted to have the building burned down for the insurance money. That pet store owner has now pleaded guilty to arson, insurance fraud and attempted animal cruelty charges.

Gloria Eun Hye Lee, 35, the owner of Prince and Princess Pet Shop, pled guilty as part of a plea deal on October 20th to felony charges of arson, insurance fraud and attempted animal cruelty. She could face up to 24 years in state prison when she is sentenced on February 25th.

According to the Star Tribune, Lee’s plea deal with the Clark County District Court calls for the dismissal of 28 other charges against her, said court spokeswoman Mary Ann Price.

Security video from the store shows Lee and a man, who prosecutors identify as co-defendant Kirk Bills, setting fire to the Prince and Princess on January 27th. Court documents say Bills is the man in the video seen pouring liquid from gasoline cans and igniting it, while Lee collects files and departs.

Bills, 28, was arrested on February 7th in Crown Point, Indiana and returned to Las Vegas. He is currently in jail waiting for his trial to take place next month on 31 felony charges. He has pled not guilty.

Lee, who was freed from jail on bail in April and placed on house arrest, was accused of trying to collect from the $3,500 insurance claim.

Before you worry that I’m not going to tell you if the dogs survived, no dogs were killed in the fire, and the sprinklers quickly doused the flames. 25 of the puppies did find homes, through a raffle held in March with $250 tickets sold to benefit a local animal shelter; two adult dogs were placed with a rescue group called A Home 4 Spot.

But of course, the incident did provoke outrage from animal rights advocates, along with drawing protesters to the courthouse steps, and starting a two-month legal tug-of-war over ownership of the rescued dogs.

Prosecutor Shanon Clowers wouldn’t say anything about Lee's plea, other than the fact that Lee did not promise to testify against Bills.

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Categories: Scandalous Schemes

CA City Council Candidate on Probation for Fraud

by FraudReport 23. October 2014 09:32

After being convicted of felony fraud, a candidate for the Antioch City Council is now on probation.

Anthony Segovia, 27, pleaded no contest back in September of 2012 to a pair of insurance fraud charges from between early 2010 and late 2011, as well as a grand theft charge in February of 2008. According to court records, Segovia "did knowingly assist and conspire with another person to present and cause to be presented" fraudulent claims totaling over $50,000 to 11 insurance carriers for payment.

According to the Contra Costa Times, Segovia stated that after he paid restitution, the felonies were reduced to misdemeanors and the grand theft charge was dropped. However, deputy district attorney Brian Hast said the bulk of the restitution hadn’t been paid as of October 10th, and that the charges would not be reduced to misdemeanors until Segovia completes probation.

"Segovia is the quintessential con man," Hast said. "I wouldn't believe a word he says."

Hast also added that the insurance fraud charges are for false claims Segovia made for items that said were allegedly damaged in several different incidents.

Hast added, in addition to the 11 claims mentioned in court documents, Segovia filed several others that were rejected by insurance companies after being flagged as "suspicious."

Segovia said the fraud stemmed from false claims a relative made after a car accident, of which he was aware but did not report. He says he was charged after refusing to cooperate with the ContraCostaCountyDA's Office.

"I didn't want to see any of my family members go to prison," he said. "At first, I thought it wasn't a big deal (to not cooperate with the DA). I regret doing it because it has caused me a world of trouble, lost wages and financial burden. Looking back, I wouldn't have done it."

Hast said it is true that Segovia's relative was involved in other fraud schemes, but he believes that Segovia was the principal offender in this case.

On November 20, 2012, Segovia was sentenced to nine months in jail and five years of probation. Under state law, he is still legally eligible to run for office and vote, which even Segovia himself is stunned by. He said, "Being a felon is terrible. You lose everything. I'm surprised I was even able to run for City Council."

A state law was enacted in 2012 that bans anyone who was convicted of a felony after January 1, 2013, from running for public office. Because Segovia's convictions were before that, he's still eligible to run.

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Categories: Scandalous Schemes