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The Fraud Report

Fatal MN Staged Accident Leads to Insurance Fraud Charges

by FraudReport 23. July 2015 05:31

A Minnesota man is facing insurance fraud charges after being accused of setting up a staged accident. However, he seems to be getting off easy, as another one of the crash participants later died from the injuries he sustained.

Narong Sithamat, 34, has been charged with two felony counts of insurance fraud, according to the St. Cloud Times. But the crash that took place on November 3rd went very wrong after Keotavanh Saengchanthalath, 32, was fatally injured during the crash.

The court complaint says Saengchanthalath was recruited as the driver in the crash, during which he sustained extensive injuries to his chest cavity, lungs and heart. The doctor who performed the autopsy believes that an object outside the vehicle entered his chest, puncturing his heart.

Sithamat and the third man involved in the scheme, identified in court records as Sip Khotasine, dropped Saengchanthalath off at St. CloudHospital, where he later died.

Sithamat is accused of offering money to Saengchanthalath and Khotasine to help crash the vehicle. Sithamat later filed a claim with his insurance company, seeking $8,556 and telling the company that his vehicle had been stolen.

The crash happened at about 2:45 a.m. on November 3, 2014. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found a van in a ditch and it appeared that the van had side-swiped a utility pole and a road sign. They also found two large pools of blood on the road.

WrightCounty deputies contacted St. Cloud police to see if they knew anything about the vehicle’s registered owner. Almost simultaneously, police learned that Saengchanthalath had been dropped off at the hospital with a gaping chest wound.

Officers talked to the two men who dropped off Saengchanthalath, identifying them as Sithamat and Khotasine.

Neither mentioned anything about the crash, telling officers that Khotasine found Saengchanthalath lying by the side of the road outside of a trailer park.

Investigators found text messages between Sithamat and Khotasine that discussed details of how to crash the car and make it look stolen, according to the court complaint.

According to the court complaint, investigators also learned that Sithamat had only offered Khotasine and Saengchanthalath a measly $400 each to crash the vehicle so he could then report it stolen.

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Categories: Staged Accidents

7 Indicted for Insurance Fraud

by FraudReport 17. July 2015 09:24

Officials from California’s Department of Insurance said 7 west coast area residents were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to defraud insurance companies out of at least $175,000.

Five people from the Bay Area, and two from Washington, allegedly submitted over 70 fraudulent claims to multiple insurance companies for damage to vehicles that had occurred prior to the vehicle being insured.

According to the Martinez Patch, insurance department spokeswoman Nancy Kincaid said investigators first received a notification from an insurance company representative in November of 2013 that they suspected fraud from a claimant. Throughout about the next year and a half, Kincaid said investigators revealed a ring of fraudulent activity dating back to 2011, including at least seven people and an auto body shop.

Department officials say the average claim was for roughly $2,500. Authorities said 50-year-old Jose Guadalupe Ramos, owner of Mirage Auto Craft, was involved with the inspections of the vehicles. Kincaid noted that typically, the repairs were never completed on the cars and those involved pocketed the repair money instead.

In addition to Ramos, authorities arrested 32-year-old Ismael Chavez; 36-year-old Juan Carlos Chavez; 37-year-old Jose Luis Ramos-Mercado; 29-year-old Maria Ortiz; and 27-year-old Joel Palestino and 39-year-old Carmen Vazquez, who are being extradited from Washington to face charges in California, according to department officials.

If convicted, the suspects could face anywhere from 5 to 35 years in state prison. Reminder: the charges alleged in an Indictment are merely accusations and all defendants are presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office.

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Categories: Scandalous Schemes