Two men named Charles Pounders and Tony Willis decided to attempt a classic insurance fraud scheme according to the Times Daily.
These two Tuscumbia, Alabama men devised a plan to collect insurance money by having Willis report his truck missing after Willis knowingly had Pounders take the vehicle and set it on fire.
On December 3, 2017, Willis reported to police that his vehicle was stolen.
Willis found his vehicle later that morning after reporting it stolen and it had been burned.
The Cherokee Police Department began the investigation and then enlisted the State Fire Marshal’s office to assist with the investigation.
Jennifer Bowen with the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s office indicated that both Pounders and Willis were accused of conspiring to burn the truck to collect insurance money.
According to the Times Daily Bowen received confessions from Willis that he asked Pounders to get rid of the truck to collect insurance money. They later obtained Pounders’ confession confirming what Willis confessed.
Pounders admitted to taking the truck and lighting the interior fabric on fire to burn the vehicle.
The Times Daily stated “First-degree insurance fraud and second-degree arson are Class B felonies, punishable by 2-20 years in prison. False reporting to law enforcement is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to a year in jail if convicted.”
Both men were released from jail on $5,000 bonds each.
Pounders is scheduled to be arraigned on February 13, 2018, and Willis will be arraigned on February 15, 2018.
This is the classic insurance fraud scam that insurance companies look for immediately when something like this happens.
Insurance companies will have investigators look at phone records, bank records, payment records, confirm stories, request receipts, interview the insured and even talk to neighbors to confirm whether a claim like this is legit or not.
Another key thing that happens many times is the victim or a friend of a victim will locate the vehicle after it is stolen. Many times the vehicle will be burnt to nothing, or all the alleged belongings within the vehicle will have been stolen. I think this happens so the fraudsters can expedite the claims process, but it is also something we look for as investigators as an indicator of fraud.
Until next week.