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A Indiana married couple and the man’s mother recently went on trial after they were accused of defrauding auto insurance companies by filing false claims.According to an article published in the South Bend Tribune and written by staff writer Marti Goodlad Heline, Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Brook told the jury in her opening statement that Angela Jackson, formerly known as Angela Blackwell, used the scheme as a way to move up to a better vehicle.Brook said that Jackson was aided by her husband, Joe and his mother, Essie, in making insurance claims for stolen or damaged vehicles and for expensive equipment such as rims, tires, and electronic items that allegedly were stolen. As part of the claims, according to the charges, substantial misrepresentations were made as to the purchase price of the vehicles.The defendants submitted sham purchase agreements and phony or altered receipts to support their claims, the government maintains.The South Bend Tribune reported that she claimed she purchased the vehicle from her husband’s mother the previous April for $33,000 and still owed $28,000 at the time it was stolen. A former auto salvage business operator testified that he sold the Expedition to Joe and Essie Jackson in May 2000 for $6,800, based on documents he had. The vehicle was reported to have been wrecked, not road worthy, and had a salvage title.On a tape-recorded statement made to an insurance claims adjuster, the jury heard Angela Jackson describe the stolen vehicle in very good condition and not having been in a crash as far as she knew. The insurance company eventually paid her $21,500 to settle the claim about seven months later.

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