Featured Fraud: Don’t Mess With Texas

Insurer Demands Repayment from Arsonists

Two Texas residents are feeling the heat after admittedly torching their home to collect insurance, only to later renege on their joint promise to repay then-insurer, Texas Farm Bureau Underwriters.

The insurance company filed a lawsuit on Aug. 19 in Jefferson County District Court against former policyholders Brent and Corey Wise in an effort to recoup the more than $60,000 it paid on the fire-related claim in question.

According to the complaint, Texas Farm Bureau Underwriters issued a policy to Brent and Ambra Wise for their property in Beaumont, Texas. Brent Wise allegedly instructed Corey Wise to “burn down his property” on Sept. 6, 2007. Later, the insurer paid Brent Wise $2,000 for living expenses after he claimed to have no involvement in the arson. In addition, the company paid him $60,000 in policy benefits.

See related fraud: "Deliver Us from Evil"

After collecting the money, Brent and Corey Wise admitted to conspiring to set the fire, the insurance company claims in the complaint. Following that revelation, the Wises reportedly promised to repay Texas Farm Bureau Underwriters the funds distributed as a result of the arson. However, the insurer has not received a red cent and is thus filing charges of breach of contract, fraud, civil conspiracy, and unpaid debt. Additionally, it seeks actual, punitive and exemplary damages, plus attorneys’ fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law and any other “relief the court deems just.”

No further information is available at this time, but sparks are expected to fly in Jefferson County Court.

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