Prominent Insurance Fraud Cases

Insurance Fraud Cases

History is a witness to some of the biggest insurance fraud cases. Let us have a small glimpse into some of the biggest or the most prominent insurance fraud cases that left lasting impressions. These insurance frauds also made for stricter laws.

Duping a person generally starts small, then it becomes a habit and very soon a way of life. These fraudsters get a kick out of swindling others and make a profession out of it. When insurance companies have to bear the brunt of these frauds not only do they land up losing millions of dollars but also the customers suffer. At the customer end, the premium becomes expensive in order to make up for the loss suffered by the insurance company. Most of all, Insurance frauds require a lot of daring and pre-planning to convince the insurance company that either the loss is not worth investigating or fooling them into believing that it is indeed an actual loss.

Popular Scams

The Titanic Conspiracy

The “Unsinkable Ship” was actually sinkable. And therefore, arose the question, if this reckless claim was indeed a way to insure The Titanic for the highest dollar and then make good on the claim? Some conspiracy theorists believe that the sinking of The Titanic was a well-planned and perfectly executed incident. Furthermore, in this world, when nothing is indestructible, how could anyone believe that a ship was not?

The most popular theory states that “Jesuits”, an order that believed in carrying out Jesus’ work, were behind the sinking of The Titanic. Jesuits wanted the setting-up of the Federal Reserve. This reserve would influence the monetary and credit environment in the US economy. It would also supervise and regulate banking institutions. Therefore, in short, the Federal Reserve would play a strategic role in the nation’s payment system. This reserve faced strict opposition from a lot of influential people. The Jesuits invited these influential people to take a cruise on the ill-fated ship. To get rid of these people who opposed the Federal Reserve, the Titanic tragedy was planned.

Another popular theory was that the Titanic was indeed its sister ship Olympic. The two were switched as the Olympic had suffered massive damage. It was thus rendered unserviceable. By switching the ships “White Star Line” was able to make up for the loss. Additionally, it also helped them to make up for the loss of revenue. There is a very detailed article on the internet in context to this material identity theft titled Did Titanic Really sink Or Was It Olympic?

The Horse Murders

This was one of the biggest scandals in the history of equestrian sports. The horse murders occurred between the middle of the 1970s to the middle of 1990s, a period spanning around 20 years. Expensive horses, mostly show jumpers, were insured against disease, accident or illness. The insured amount ranged from $50,000 to $250,000. These horses were then killed to collect the insurance money. A formal FBI investigation was launched to get to the bottom of these deaths. Although the exact number of horse deaths is not known, it is estimated that these were close to 100.

Official records state, 36 people were indicted and tried. Especially relevant is the fact, of these 35 were convicted. They were tried for a range of felonies including insurance fraud, animal cruelty, extortion, obstruction of justice, racketeering etc. Short supply of cash, purchasing over-valued horses and greed evolved as the prime reason for committing the horse murders. The people committing the crime were often the horse trainers and the horse owners themselves. A detailed article about this can be read on The New York Times Archives.

Steven Cooperman Art Theft Hoax

Seems like Steven Cooperman was a man who came to enjoy finer things in life. He went down in history as the man who arranged for stealing two of his paintings, a Picasso and a Monet. The Picasso and Monet were purchased by Cooper man for $ 957,000 and $800,000 respectively. For a show to be held in Los Angeles, he filed his own estimate ($12.5 million) of their value. Without an appraisal document and just the loan receipt for that value, he updated his insurance policy. On the off-chance they lost before a jury and faced punitive damages, the insurers took a call to settle the claim for $17.5 million. Probably this was the biggest mistake made at the time by the insurers.

Michael Jackson “This Is It” Tour 

Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” tour had an insurance cover of $17.5 million. While applying for this insurance it was not disclosed that he was taking prescription drugs. Besides, he had also stated that other than the cosmetic procedures he was not under any doctor’s care since 2005. As the famed singer died of a drug overdose and that too under the care of a doctor, Lloyd’s of London cried fraud. This case brought to limelight the fact that even the most well-known media personalities can conceal relevant information leading up to one of the most prominent insurance fraud cases. 

HCA Scam

 A premier setup in the healthcare industry, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) awed the world by its illegal practices. HCA intentionally misidentified marketing expenses as patient costs that were reimbursable. Also, it claimed idle hospital space was used for patient care, made illegal deals with doctors for referring patients to hospitals under their supervision and kickbacks etc. As a result, in 1997, many government departments of the United States decided to look into HAC for fraud. Thanks to the company whistle-blowers their task was made easy.

Finally, in 2002, HCA settled to pay the U.S. government $631 million with interest and $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies. By now, HCA had already spent $250 million to resolve the outstanding Medicare expenditure claims. Additionally, in 2007, HCA agreed to pay $20 million to the shareholders. Consequently, with settlement coming to almost $2 billion this was probably, financially, the most prominent insurance fraud case.

Slip and Fall Scam

 When it comes to fraud age is not a limiting factor. Isabel Parker, aged 72, became the slip and fall queen. She would have these little slip and fall accidents from anywhere in a street to a store or any other insured property. She would then claim insurance from the property owners. In her own words between 1993 and 2000, she managed to get hold of $500,000 in phony claims. And thereby entering the hall of fame of prominent insurance fraud cases.

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4 Comments on “Prominent Insurance Fraud Cases”

  1. Insurance can be misused for a crime too. We can see how a mother is set to be killed by her adult children as if it is an accident, just for greedily own their mother’s insurance claim..

    1. Ultimately it all boils down to morality. No matter how utopian we want the society to be there are still people looking to make easy money (read lots of easy money).

  2. It’s mad people get away with type of thing, it’s like they have no conscience at all. I fall apart at a white lie about why I haven’t visited the dentist or something ridiculous so I would make a awful criminal haha

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