- The dumbest insurance fraud cases of all time
- March 19, 2014
And even though we know that not all insurance fraudsters are completely daft, we have compiled a list of the 11 Dumbest Insurance Fraud Schemes of All-Time from real cases supplied by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. Look over the list and ask yourself, “What were they thinking?”
#11: Garrett Dalton, a Naugatuck, Conn. correctional officer, was collecting thousands of dollars in workers compensation money after he was “hurt” on the job and no longer able to work.
Dalton, wearing a dress, a woman’s wig and high heels, revealed the scheme himself on TV during a radio station’s promotional race that included balancing an egg in a spoon. The coveted prize Dalton was trying to win? Tickets to a Hannah Montana concert.
#10: Nicholas Di Puma of Walton, N.Y. burned his home and convertible to reap fraudulent homeowners and car insurance benefits. His story did not quite make sense to investigators. Di Puma was at home when the fire began, and claimed it started when pans on the stovetop caught fire as he was cooking steak. After trying to extinguish the blaze with a rag, he threw a pan out the door, which landed in the backseat of his convertible. On his way to throw the second pan outside, he claimed that he tripped and the pan landed on a couch. Delaware County officials were not amused or convinced.
Along with a torched home and car, Di Puma also was left with five years of probation.
#9: In Akron, Ohio, Matthew Mueller made the decision to rent a backhoe and bury his 1997 BMW on his father’s rural property. The car had engine problems, and Mueller could make $20,000 by reporting the car stolen.
But after insurance officials were notified of the “stolen” vehicle, Mueller had second thoughts. As he started to dig the car out with the same backhoe used to bury it, the equipment got stuck in the mud. With the evidence out for all to see, Mueller’s scheme was discovered and landed him in jail for a year.
#8: Justo Padron, owner of Tamiami Medical Supply, Inc., was running a fraudulent business that scammed $7.4 million from Medicare. When police caught Padron burglarizing a vehicle, they chased him until he jumped into a lake bearing the sign “Danger Live Alligators.” Padron was found dead the following day with gator bites covering his torso.
#7: Carla Patterson of Newport News, Va. claimed she found a dead mouse in a bowl of vegetable soup at an unsuspecting Cracker Barrel restaurant.
After Patterson requested $500,000 in business liability insurance money, Cracker Barrel stepped up and discovered the mouse did not have soup in its lungs and had not been cooked in the soup. Although Patterson ended up in prison for a year, the restaurant’s businesses suffered, with one employee losing her home after business slowed.
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