Insurance fraud is still a rampant problem, as indicated by the arrest of four Crowley residents who staged an auto accident in Acadia Parish. The Louisiana State Police, working out of the Lafayette field office, are still looking for two more people they believe were involved in the fraudulent scheme.
Details of the accident
The police allege that on February 11, 2018, Lonnie Lambert and Harris Gobar had a two-car collision in Acadia Parish. They decided to call four other people to the scene to pose as passengers and accident victims in order to collect insurance money. After a nearly year-long investigation, the police finally arrested Lambert and three of the fake passengers for filing false public records and insurance fraud. They are still searching for Gobar and another woman from Crowley.
Consequences of insurance fraud
These types of schemes are nothing new. In fact, state police in New Orleans arrested seven people in January for a 2016 staged accident. Insurance fraud is a serious crime, committed anytime someone purposefully deceives an insurance company for financial gain. Fraud crimes are felonies in most states, including Louisiana.
Penalties for insurance fraud can include fines, community service and jail time of up to five years for each offense. Although criminal schemes have become more elaborate, so have law enforcement efforts. More and more criminals are being caught.
Insurance fraud hurts everyone
The participants may think they are not hurting anyone, but fraud has financial consequences for everyone, from the insurance company to the individual policyholder. Insurance fraud costs Americans about $80 billion annually. Among white collar crimes, only tax evasion costs Americans more.
If you suspect someone of committing insurance fraud, you can contact the Louisiana Department of Insurance to report them.