Insurance Fraud Bulletins – Arson, Theft

February 24, 2017

Insurance fraud is the topic of the day, with two different stories about it in the news.

First, a 60-year-old woman in South Carolina has admitted to a fifteen-year scam of the West Virginia workers compensation system.

The woman, Harriet Miller of Georgetown, SC, stole roughly $116,000 of insurance checks addressed to Hazel Allen after the latter died in 1987, prosecutors say. Allen had been awarded lifetime benefits when her husband, a coal miner, was killed in a 1941 mining accident. She lived in the same South Carolina apartment building as Miller.

Hazel Miller’s guilty plea was entered into the record on September 2nd, in the Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Kevin R. Sexton, 42, also of Georgetown pleaded guilty to the same charge. He and Miller were married but are currently separated.

Sentencing will take place on October 16th � Miller and Sexton face 1-10 years in prison, each.

Another insurance fraud case, this time in Texas, a Houston couple has been indicted over for a 2003 house fire that was part of an alleged home insurance scheme and resulted in the death of their daughter and another boy.

Lonnie Blevins, arson investigator for the Harris County Fire Marshal, told reporters that 44-year-old Sharon Watkins is sought on two counts of murder. Her husband, David Watkins, age 48, was indicted on one murder count last month, has surrendered, and is currently free on a $50,000 bond.

Blevins had no information about Watkins’s legal representation, but he did tell the Associated Press that the same house suffered a total of $400,000 in damage from several fires between 2000 and 2003, and that the couple had collected insurance money. The Watkins no longer own the northwest Houston home.

The victims in the May 2003 fire, caused by arson, were 8-year-old Shanda Watson, and a16-year-old Raymond Farley, Jr, a family friend.