View Full Version : Insurance fraud?

12-02-2009, 02:26 AM
Anybody know anything about insurance fraud? I'm working on a story in which somebody is trying to defraud his insurance company to the tune of probably about $100,000. This does not involve killing anybody, just the destruction of property. (It's loosely based on an actual event involving the killing of a horse for the insurance money.) I'm wondering if the police would get involved in the investigation from the start, or if it would be handled by an insurance investigator until a crime is uncovered? The death of the animal would not be considered suspicious right off the bat, but someone starts asking questions. Any suggestions?

12-02-2009, 02:45 AM
I'm assuming you're looking at the Helen Brach, George Lindemann mess as described in HOT BLOOD. If you haven't read it, you should.

It would be handled initially by the insurance company, unless it came out of a criminal investigation (such as the Brach case). There's a lot of variables here. It can be investigated at a local, state, or federal level (use of mail to transfer a check that's illegal is a federal crime -- mail fraud). A lot of times an insurance company won't prosecute criminally if they can get their money back.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

12-02-2009, 02:56 AM
Thanks Jim, I have that book, did read it, also saw a tv special about it. I was thinking more of Barney Ward and Paul Valliere, I can't remember if they were involved in that case or not. Anyway, I'm going to change a lot more than just the names, I'm just doing a short story. I'll shoot you a PM, thanks!

Edited to add - it was the same case -


Stijn Hommes
12-02-2009, 02:32 PM
As far as I know destruction of property is a crime. If the owner files charges, the police would certainly be involved.

12-04-2009, 08:15 PM
Here's the section in New York I'm sure New Hampshire has similar codes:
N.Y. ENV. LAW 11-2117 : NY Code - Section 11-2117: Damage to property, livestock or domestic fowl by hunters and fishermen

No person, for the purpose of or while hunting, trapping or fishing,
shall without the permission of the owner, lessee or lawful occupant
enter upon the land of another and while thereon kill or injure any dog,
livestock or domestic fowl, or cut, destroy or damage any bars, gates or
fence or any part thereof, or deface or damage any vehicle, farm
equipment, buildings or appurtenances to the land, resulting in damage
to the owner or occupant of the land or of the dog, livestock, domestic
fowl, bars, gates, fences, vehicles, equipment, buildings or
appurtenances to the land.

12-05-2009, 12:15 AM
The angle I'm working has the owner kill his horse for the insurance money. That would be more of an insurance fraud issue, and it is a lot of money. I'm just trying to work out the details of the investigation. Thanks!