NORTH CAROLINA
Someone Fishy Named Wanda

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Wanda Nichols Covington, 36, and her brother, Thomas Nichols,Jr., 32, share a tighter bond than most brothers and sisters — thebond of felony charges. The two were recently arrested for tryingto commit auto insurance fraud, according to North Carolina'sInsurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.

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According to an arrest warrant, Covington is accused of filingfalse paperwork in May 2009 with Progressive Insurance Company. Inher report, she claimed that her 2007 Hyundai Sonata had beenstolen from her home. Progressive promptly paid her more than$11,000 for the loss.

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When the car turned up partially burned a short time later,though, North Carolina Department of Insurance investigators wereinformed of it and went to work. After conducting an investigation,they determined that Wanda Covington's car had never been stolenand alleged that she hired her brother to dispose of her car forher.

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Thomas Nichols, Jr. was charged with obtaining property by falsepretense, insurance fraud, and felony conspiracy. His sister, WandaCovington, was charged with felony obtaining property by falsepretense, insurance fraud, and felony conspiracy. Both were placedunder $10,000 unsecured bonds their county's sheriff'sdepartment.

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OHIO
Octofraud

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It may not be surprising that insurance fraud is on the rise,but a recent investigation in Ohio has set the bar high forpunishing low-life fraud suspects.

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The Ohio Department of Insurance and a number of other agenciestracked down three individuals, each with a long list of insuranceclaims. Luther Watts, and Lysandrous Mullins, Jr. of Ohio, andPatricia Mullins of West Virginia, have filed claims for just abouteverything, including acts of arson, theft, auto accidents, anddisability claims.

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Investigators were right to be suspicious, as it was alsorevealed that the three suspects were running schemes through localcar dealerships. Using fraudulent documents and employmentinformation, the suspects bought cars at the dealerships and tookout credit disability insurance.

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Soon after obtaining the vehicles, the suspects would contacttheir insurance carrier and report an injury or disability. Inorder to maximize the length of time the insurance company wouldhave to pay on the vehicle, the suspects would alter disabilityforms obtained from their provider and submit them to the insurancecarriers.

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As it turns out, it's the three suspects that will end up payingthe maximum for what they did. Each of the three is charged witheight counts of insurance fraud.

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