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Insurance Fraud Cases

Jason Halstead
Date of Action: 07/17/2017
Location: Harris County
Violation: Misapplication of Fiduciary Property, 3rd Degree Felony
Action Taken: Sentenced to 6 years deferred adjudication probation and ordered to pay $41,000 restitution.

In Harris County, Jason Halstead pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony of misapplication of fiduciary property and was sentenced to six years deferred adjudication probation and ordered to pay $41,000 in restitution. Halstead, a licensed insurance agent, used life insurance proceeds belonging to his disabled niece to buy an annuity without his niece's consent.  Halstead then withdrew a large portion of the principal (incurring a penalty), to make a down payment on his house and used the annuity payments for personal expenses.

Mark Allen Cox
Date of Action: 12/08/2016
Location: Cooke County
Violation: Insurance Fraud, 1st Degree Felony
Action Taken: Sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication probation and ordered to pay $1.07 million in restitution

In Cooke County, Mark Allen Cox pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony of insurance fraud. Cox was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication probation and ordered to pay $1.07 million in restitution. Cox submitted medical insurance claims for treatment allegedly provided by licensed medical providers, when no licensed provider was involved in the treatment. He submitted claims totaling more than $3.9 million dollars. 

Reginald Cofer
Date of Action: 11/18/2016
Location: Dallas County
Violation: Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, 1st Degree Felony
Action Taken:  Sentenced to 6 years in prison

In Dallas County, Reginald Cofer pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony of engaging in organized criminal activity and was sentenced to six years in prison. Cofer recruited 12 other people to participate in a scheme involving arson of residences. Cofer owned a restoration business and used the arsons to generate work for his restoration business resulting in $203,949 of fraudulent insurance claims. 

James Halsell
Date of Action: 03/06/2017
Location: Bexar County
Violation: Securing Execution of a Document by Deception, 1st Degree Felony; Money Laundering, 2nd Degree Felony; Forgery, a State Jail Felony
Action Taken:  Sentenced to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay $52,364 in restitution.

In Bexar County, James Halsell pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony of securing execution of a document by deception, second-degree felony of money laundering, and a state jail felony of forgery. Halsell was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $52,364 in restitution. Halsell, a licensed insurance agent, operated a commission scheme where he created fictitious people using a combination of actual Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and then used the fictitious people as applicants for life insurance policies. He would collect commissions for the policy sales and then allow the policies to cancel. He also used a similar method where he stole actual identities and took out policies without permission in order to collect commissions.

Paula Villareal
Date of Action: 03/30/2017
Location:  Bexar County
Violation: Theft from the Elderly, 2nd Degree Felony; Fraudulent use of Identifying Information of the Elderly, 2nd Degree Felony
Action Taken:  Sentenced to 7 years in prison, fined $2,000, and ordered to return $55,373 to her victims.

In Bexar County, Paula Villareal pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony of theft from the elderly and second-degree felony of fraudulent use of identifying information (identity theft) of the elderly and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Villareal was ordered to pay a fine of $2,000 and to return $55,373 to her victims. Villareal was a licensed insurance agent who defrauded her victims into rolling their retirements into IRAs but then deposited the funds for the IRAs into her personal account. As part of the sentence, the defendant agreed to permanently surrender her TDI license.

Ariel Ratcliff
Date of Action:  07/27/2017
Location:  Dallas County
Violation: Unauthorized Insurance, 3rd Degree Felony
Action Taken:  Sentenced to 2 years in prison

In Dallas County, Ariel Ratcliff pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony of unauthorized insurance (doing the business of insurance without a license). Ratliff was sentenced to two years in prison. Ratliff was operating an internet business selling fake insurance certificates and other documents. The victims were unaware that they were uninsured and that their premiums were being deposited directly into Ratliff’s bank account. 

Cornell Tanner
Date of Action: 05/30/2017
Location:  Harris County
Violation: Insurance Fraud, 3rd Degree Felony
Action Taken:  Sentenced to 2 years in prison

In Harris County, Cornell Tanner pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony of insurance fraud and was sentenced to two years in prison. Tanner filed fraudulent claims with multiple insurance companies for three separate accidents using fake medical bills. Tanner claimed over $53,000 in fabricated medical treatment and received $25,269 in payments. Tanner repaid all restitution to the insurance companies prior being sentenced to prison.

Mary Burress
Date of Action: 03/23/2017
Location: Tarrant County
Violation:  Insurance Fraud, 3rd Degree Felony
Action Taken:  Sentenced to 5 years of probation and ordered to pay $53,735 in restitution

In Tarrant County, Mary Burress pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony of insurance fraud and was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $53,735 in restitution. Burrell fabricated medical bills and submitted claims for injuries that never happened. Burress received $53,735 that she was not entitled to receive.

Damon Carter
Date of Action: 05/30/2017
Location:  Harris County
Violation: Insurance Fraud, 3rd Degree Felony
Action Taken:  Sentenced to 6 years in prison and ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution

In Harris County, Damon Carter pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony of insurance fraud. Carter was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution. Carter reported a one-vehicle accident in which he claimed a phantom driver had swerved into his lane and caused him to go off the road and into a tree.  Carter staged the accident by ramming his vehicle repeatedly into the tree. Carter and three other people made claims for injuries.

 



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Last updated: 12/05/2017

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