FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
6/20/2016
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Joseph Sviatko, 410-468-2458

Maryland Insurance Administration Laser Focused on Enforcing Laws and Regulations Related to Insurance Fraud

Nearly 400 cases have been closed and $1 million in penalties, fines and restitution ordered in last five years by state insurance regulator

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Insurance Administration continues to partner with other state and local government agencies, insurance carriers and producers as well as citizens to root out insurance fraud, one of the most costly types of fraud in the country. Nationally, insurance fraud costs billions every year to the insurance industry which in turn is passed along to consumers in the form of higher premiums.

In the last five years, the Maryland Insurance Administration has pursued actions against individuals related to insurance fraud that have resulted in orders, fines, penalties, and restitution. The five year summary is below:

 

Sanctions

Fines, Penalty/Restitution

Civil

104

$498,161

Criminal

293

$683,583

Total

397

$1,181,744


“We are very serious about investigating tips that we receive about insurance fraud,” said Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. “We want Marylanders to know they should call us if they suspect insurance fraud is being committed. All tips are confidential and we thoroughly investigate each and every report.”

The MIA is the independent State agency charged with enforcing insurance laws and regulations. Its Fraud Division, staffed by former law enforcement officers and prosecutors investigates reports of fraudulent activity related to insurance matters. If you suspect that someone has committed insurance fraud, call the MIA’s Fraud Division hotline at 1-800-846-4069, or email a referral form to fraud-referrals.mia@maryland.gov. 

To learn more, please visit www.insurance.maryland.gov. The MIA publishes details of the fraud orders on its website; to view civil fraud and criminal fraud information look under Public Documents (http://insurance.maryland.gov/Pages/available-public-information/index.aspx). 

To learn more about insurance fraud across the United States, visit the National Insurance Crime Bureau website: nicb.org. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is the organization dedicated to fighting insurance fraud and crime. The NICB partners with insurance companies, law enforcement agencies and regulators to identify, detect and prosecute insurance criminals. Watch the latest NICB video here

Specifics on Civil Fraud in Maryland

In October 2012, the MIA was granted authority to issue insurance fraud civil orders. Since 2013, the MIA has sanctioned over 104 individuals with committing insurance fraud in Maryland. Penalties totaling $371,750 have been issued and those individuals were also ordered to pay $126,411 in restitution.

Maryland’s Civil Insurance Fraud Summary:

Calendar Year

Orders*

Penalty

Restitution

Grand Total

2013

4

$16,500

$1,765

$18,265

2014

27

$106,000

$40,021

$146,021

2015

40

$109,750

$34,125

$143,875

2016 Orders (finalized)

(as of 6/17/16)

22

$107,500

$38,752

$146,252

2016 Orders

(issued but not finalized)

11

$32,000

$11,748

$43,748

Grand Total

104

$371,750

$126,411

$498,161


*Some orders had multiple respondents or incidents
Insurance Fraud Data for Calendar Year 2016 (January 1, 2016 through June 17, 2016:

For the first six months of calendar year 2016, Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. has issued administrative penalties totaling $107,500 against twenty-two  individuals for committing insurance fraud in the State of Maryland. In addition to the administrative penalties, Commissioner Redmer also ordered these individuals to pay over $38,752  in restitution to the insurance carriers and individuals impacted by the fraudulent activity. There are 11 orders issued but not finalized.

Final orders from the MIA for civil fraud for the first half of 2016 were as follows:

Order # MIA 2016-01-001 sanctioned $1,000 administrative penalty and pay restitution of $2,000 to third party as well as revoked producer licenses of Gregory Mann and G. Manns Agency.

Order #MIA 2016-01-014 sanctioned $3,000 administrative penalty for misrepresenting facts on a renter’s policy claim form and pay restitution to carrier in the amount of $522.

Order # MIA 2016-01-015 sanctioned $3,000 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to disability claim and pay restitution to carrier in the amount of $500.

Order # MIA 2016-02-025 sanctioned $2,000 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to life insurance policy.

Order #MIA 2016-02-024 sanctioned $1,500 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to homeowner’s insurance claim.

Order #MIA2016-02-050 sanctioned $1,500 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to workers’ compensation insurance.

Order # MIA 2016-03-001sanctioned $2,000 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to automobile insurance claim and pay restitution to carrier in amount of $943.

Order #MIA 2016-03-037 sanctioned $3,000 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to homeowner insurance claim filing.
Order # MIA 2016-03-049 sanctioned $1,500 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to creating a fraudulent certificate of insurance (COI).

Order # MIA 2016-03-051 sanctioned $1,500 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to an automobile insurance claim and pay restitution to carrier in amount of $2,702.

Order# MIA 2016-03-038 sanctioned $12,000 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to life and health insurance claims and reimburse carrier $6,150.

Order# MIA 2016-03-039 sanctioned $1,500 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to life insurance claim.

Order# MIA 2016-04-007 sanctioned $25,000 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to life and health insurance claim and pay restitution to carrier in the amount of $12,525 related to fraudulent claims.

Order# MIA 2016-04-011 sanctioned $6,500 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to life and health insurance claim and pay restitution to carrier for $1,455 related to fraudulent claim.

Order# MIA 2016-04-012 sanctioned $7,500 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to creating a fraudulent certificate of insurance (COI).

Order# MIA 2016-04-034 sanctioned $1,500 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to submitting false property and casualty claim to carrier.

Order# MIA 2016-04-042 sanctioned $3,000 administrative penalty for insurance fraud and ordered to pay restitution to carrier in the amount of $1,776 related to committing property and casualty insurance fraud.

Order# MIA 2016-05-002 sanctioned $3,000 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to auto insurance fraud.

Order# MIA 2016-05-003 sanctioned $7,500 administrative penalty for insurance fraud related to creating a fraudulent certificate of insurance (COI).

Specifics on Criminal Fraud in Maryland

Since 2011, over 293 fraud cases have been investigated by the MIA and prosecuted through the offices of local State’s Attorneys. Many of those cases resulted in criminal convictions, jail time, and fines. The Courts also ordered the defendants to pay more than $600,000 in restitution to the insurance carriers and individuals impacted by the fraudulent activity. As of June 17, 2016 fourteen criminal insurance cases have been adjudicated resulting in $35,023 in fines and restitution.

Maryland’s Criminal Insurance Fraud Summary:

Calendar Year

Criminal Prosecution (Adjudicated)

Fines

Restitution

Total

2011

70

$6,145

$236,032

$242,177

2012

89

$8,470

$206,721

$215,191

2013

55

$4,500

$75,644

$80,144

2014

35

$1,500

$37,788

$39,288

2015

30

$500

$71,259

$71,759

2016**

14

$1,000

$34,023

$35,023

Total

293

$22,115

$661,468

$683,583

**As of June 17, 2016, 14 cases have been adjudicated by the local State’s Attorney’s Office.

The following cases have been investigated by the MIA and adjudicated by the local State’s Attorney’s Office in 2016:

Markia Maultsby of Catonsville, MD (Baltimore City District Court Case # 5B02307324 )
Ms. Maultsby was charged with two of counts of insurance fraud for falsely making a stolen car claim. She received probation before judgment (PBJ) and was placed on supervised probation for five years. Restitution in the amount of $11,400 was ordered to be paid to the carrier.  

Phyllis Magwood of Silver Spring, MD (Montgomery County Circuit Court case #127512C)
Ms. Magwood was charged with five counts of insurance fraud and one count of theft-scheme for filing false disability claims. Ms. Magwood pled guilty to one count of insurance fraud and the other charges were entered Nolle Prosequi by the State. Ms. Magwood was sentenced to 18 months of incarceration, all suspended, and she was placed on five years of supervised probation. Restitution in the amount of $11,000.00 was ordered to be paid to the carrier. 

Nikeara Wilson and Troy McCray of Baltimore, MD (Baltimore City District Court #2B02129024 and 4B02075266)
Mr. McCray and Ms. Wilson were charged with insurance fraud for making a false auto injury claim. Mr. McCray and Ms. Wilson pled guilty to insurance fraud. They both received probation before judgment (PBJ) with 180 days of unsupervised probation and were ordered to perform 20 hours of community service. 

Debra Lowenstein of Reisterstown, MD (Baltimore County District Court # 1C00415087) 
Ms. Lowenstein was charged with one count of insurance fraud for falsely reporting the loss of jewelry. The case was placed on the Stet Docket with the condition that Ms. Lowenstein pay $2,700.00 in restitution to the carrier within three years. 

Sharon Smith of Glen Burnie, MD (Prince George’s County District Court # 5E00551437)
Ms. Smith was charged with one count of felony insurance fraud for falsely reporting a hit and run accident claim. The Prince George’s County Assistant State’s Attorney’s Office placed the case on the Stet Docket with the condition that Ms. Smith perform 24 hours of community service within 90 days.  

Tashera McLain of Baltimore, MD (Baltimore City Circuit Court # 115322009) 
Ms. McLain was charged with felony insurance fraud for falsely claiming her car was stolen. Ms. McLain pled guilty to one count of insurance fraud. McLain was given probation before judgment (PBJ), placed on supervised probation for six months, and ordered to perform 25 hours of community service. 

Eric DeCastro of Parkville, MD (Harford County District Court # 5R00104522)
Mr. DeCastro was charged with two counts each of insurance fraud and attempted theft for filing a fictitious bodily injury claim. Mr. DeCastro was found guilty of one count of insurance fraud and the remaining charges were placed on the Stet Docket. Mr. DeCastro was sentenced to two years of incarceration, all suspended, placed on supervised probation for one year, and fined $500. 

Amelia Feiler of Havre de Grace, MD (Harford County District Court # 5R00102814) 
Ms. Feiler was charged with one count of felony insurance fraud and two counts of making a false statement to a police officer for falsely claiming her vehicle was stolen. Ms. Feiler took an Alford Plea to the insurance fraud charge and the other charges were entered Nolle Prosequi by the State. Ms. Feiler was sentenced to five years of incarceration, all suspended but two days, and given two years of supervised probation. 

Kia Dyer of Essex, MD (Baltimore County District Court # 5C00423056)
Ms. Dyer was charged with one count each of felony insurance fraud, making a false statement to a police officer, and attempted theft for making a false auto theft claim.  Baltimore County Assistant State’s Attorney placed the case on the Stet Docket with the condition that Ms. Dyer perform 60 hours of community service. 

Taivon Summons of Essex, MD (Baltimore County District Court # 5C00423057)
Mr. Summons was charged with felony insurance fraud, making a false statement to a police officer, and attempted theft for making a false auto theft claim. Baltimore County Assistant State’s Attorney placed the case on the Stet Docket with the condition that Ms. Dyer perform 60 hours of community service. 

Susan Starliper of Sharpsburg, MD (Washington County Circuit Court # 21K15051621)
Ms. Starliper was charged with two counts of insurance fraud and one count of driving an uninsured vehicle, and for making a false auto accident claim. Ms. Starliper pled guilty to one count of insurance fraud and the other charges were entered Nolle Prosequi by the State. Ms. Starliper was sentenced to 18 months of incarceration, all suspended, and given three years of unsupervised probation, a suspended $500 fine, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $250 to the owner of the other vehicle. 

Candace Hendricks of Baltimore, MD (Baltimore City Circuit Court #116020018)  
Ms. Hendricks was charged with two counts of insurance fraud, two counts of intentional motor vehicle accident, and one count of conspiracy to commit theft for staging a motor vehicle accident for the purpose of filing an insurance claim. Ms. Hendricks pled guilty to one count of insurance fraud and the other charges were entered Nolle Prosequi by the State. Ms. Hendricks was given one year of unsupervised probation.  

Julie White of Cobb Island, MD (Charles County District Court # 0P00099995)
Ms. White was charged with one count of insurance fraud for submitting altered documents in support of an auto damage claim. The Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office allowed the case against Ms. White to be placed on the Stet Docket. 

Tationa Harris of Lexington Park, MD (Saint Mary’s County District Court # 5Q00061360)
Ms. Harris was charged with one count each of insurance fraud and theft for making a claim for damages that predated her auto policy. Ms. Harris pled guilty to the theft charge and the insurance fraud charge was entered Nolle Prosequi by the State. Ms. Harris was given five years of unsupervised probation. Restitution in the amount of $8,688.66 was ordered to be paid to carrier.

About the Maryland Insurance Administration

The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent State agency charged with regulating Maryland’s $28.5 billion insurance industry. For more information about the Insurance Administration, please visit www.insurance.maryland.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin or Twitter at @MD_Insurance.

###