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Top Insurance Fraud Cases

Lincoln Scrange and Deroyce Cokeman were involved in a $40 million mortgage fraud scam in the Houston area involving 300 properties.  Both defendants had been fugitives since their indictment in 2007 and were arrested out of state through coordination by the Fraud Unit with DPS and the U.S. Marshal's Service.  After his capture Scrange pleaded guilty to aggregated theft, a first-degree felony, and was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison.  Coleman pleaded guilty to securing execution of document by deception, a first degree felony, and was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.

Rogelio Ibanez Sr. started in January 2008, attorney Rogelio Ibanez Sr. stole $633,149 from the trust account of his title company.  Southern Star Title Company of McAllen.  Ibanez stole the money to pay for his failing commercial real estate business and to reimburse his attorney clients from earlier thefts of their trust funds.  The theft from the trust account ultimately caused Ibanez's business to fail, and on January 8, 2009, Ibanez signed an Agreed Order Appointing Liquidator and Permanent Injunction, which placed the operation of Southern Star Title Company with a court appointed receiver.  On December 13, 2011, a Houston federal court convicted and sentenced Ibanez to pay TDI $542,005 in restitution for victim payments that had been remitted on behalf of his failed title agency by the Texas Title Insurance Guaranty Fund.

Raymond Matthew Ochoa, Helen Rodriguez, and Raul Beltran, In Bexar County, agents Raymond Matthew Ochoa and Helen Rodriguez conspired with Raul Beltran, an escrow management company employee, to obtain the assignment of insurance from mortgage customers' escrow accounts to the Matt Ochoa Insurance Agency.  Rodriguez and Beltran received payments for each policy written, although a policy was not issued or funded.  Ochoa used the premium funds for personal use.  Ochoa pleaded guilty to theft and was convicted and sentenced to five years of probation.  In addition, he was ordered to pay $53,822 in restitution, a $2,000 fine, and to perform 20 hours of community service.  Rodriguez pleaded guilty to commercial bribery, and was sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication.  He was also ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution, a $2,000 fine, and to perform 120 hours of community service.  Beltran pleaded guilty to commercial bribery, was sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication and ordered to pay $3,030 in restitution, a $2,000 fine, and to perform 120 hours of community service.

Timothy J. Gaffney a funeral home owner in Killeen, entered into an agreement with a life insurance company to sell funeral preneed policies.  Gaffney deposited premiums into his personal operating account and failed to forward policy applications and premiums to the carrier.  On March 28, 2012, Gaffney pleaded guilty to misapplication of fiduciary property, a first-degree felony, and was sentenced to 120 days of deferred adjudication.  He was also ordered to pay $294,329 in restitution and to perform 100 hours of community service.

Jennifer L. Neel, agent Jennifer L. Neel of Houston issued 236 policies on 84 policyholders who did not exist.  The insurance company paid commissions to Neel based on these fraudulent policies.  Neel pleaded guilty to theft by appropriation, a third-degree felony, and was convicted and sentenced to 120 months of probation.  She was also ordered to by $49,577 in restitution and to perform 200 hours of community service.

Stormy Crandall of Dallas submitted false medical records showing she had cancer in order to receive $55,000 in benefits.  She pleaded guilty to insurance fraud, a third-degree felony, and was sentenced to 120 months of deferred adjudication.  She was also ordered to pay $55,000 in restitution, a $2,500 fine, and to perform 160 hours of community service.

Ricky Ford was involved in a mortgage scheme that involved the closing of six properties in Dallas for more than $900,000 to a man from Mississippi who had never been to Texas.  Mr. Ford pleaded guilty to organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony, and was sentenced to five years of deferred adjudication.  He was also ordered to pay $162,241 in restitution.

Stephanie Williams, From August 2006 to July 2008, agent Stephanie Williams of Dallas submitted 41 fraudulent health care claims for 69 medical treatments totaling $166,568.  The health care providers verified that Williams had not received any of the treatments.  As a result of the false medical claims, which she was not entitled.  Williams pleaded guilty to insurance fraud, a second-degree felony, and was convicted and ordered to pay $37,000 in restitution.

Choa A. Hsi, Chao A. Hsi, dba Best P&C Insurance Agency in Houston, collected $901,892 in premium payments for commercial property insurance and failed to remit the money to the insurance company.  He pleaded guilty to misapplication of fiduciary property, a third-degree felony, and was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. 

Jack Gregory a property and casualty agent in Lamesa, misappropriated premium payments by depositing the premiums into his account to use for his personal expenses.  Gregory pleaded guilty in Harris County to misapplication of fiduciary property, a third-degree felony, and was sentenced to five years of deferred adjudication.  He was ordered to pay $28,875 in restitution and a $1,500 fine.

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Last updated: 01/25/2013



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