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A serial defrauder who bilked insurers over the course of 13 years for hundreds of thousands of dollars was done in by … a serial number and silk underwear.

According to the Virginia State Police (VSP), William G. Batten had filed 21 claims involving 10 different companies from Oct. 29, 1995 to Sept. 8, 2008. When he filed his claims, Batten worked the system like a professional, providing insurers with hundreds of pages of property inventories and receipts for items he claimed were stolen. Many times his claims, worth a reported total of $750,000, were denied, and the decision went uncontested by Batten so as to avoid attracting attention. But he certainly had his fair share of successes, and was able to cash more than $250,000 in claim checks.

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