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A St. Paul man was charged last week with criminal insurance fraud after authorities said they uncovered an "elaborate" scheme to exploit Minnesota's no-fault insurance laws.
Maurice Culpepper was charged in Ramsey County after an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Commerce revealed Culpepper had created a fictitious clinic that he used to send medical bills to GEICO insurance, the department said this week.
Personal Injury Protection, under Minnesota's no fault laws, require insurance companies to pay a minimum of $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for non-medical expenses, such as lost wages.
According to the complaint, Culpepper was involved in a minor traffic accident in Lakeville in June 2011. A year later, Culpepper contacted GEICO Insurance claiming he had been receiving physical and massage therapy treatments. He submitted billing documents indicating he had received 199 treatments totaling $44,376.
“Minnesota’s no-fault insurance law is in place to ensure all Minnesotans are protected in the event they are injured as a result of an automobile accident,” Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a statement. “When the Department of Commerce obtains evidence that individuals have committed criminal fraud for personal gain, the Commerce Fraud Bureau will vigorously investigate those individuals.”
Culpepper also submitted at least seven suspicious insurance claims between 2006 and 2012, the complaint said. John Ristad, the assistant Ramsey County Attorney prosecuting the case, would not give more details on those claims.
If you’ve been in a car wreck in Minnesota, Whistleblower wants to hear about your experience with no-fault insurance. Send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 612.673.4028.
Here is another example of the e-mails that are hitting inboxes as the Affordable Care Act requirements roll out.
This one is not legitimate, as is obvious by the bad grammar. The header should read "you're not covered," though good grammar is hardly a sign of good intentions.
Some Star Tribune employees received e-mails with the subject line "Deadline Approaching - Health coverage update - 09-24-13" with a link to see coverage options.
Neither of the employees clicked the link, but we suspect it is either malware or a link to a bogus health care site. Notice that the two e-mails have different links for the coverage options.
Click here to see our story on other scams related to the the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
An international sweepstakes scam that has already cost consumers, mostly seniors, $11 million is the Federal Trade Commission's latest target in stopping these kinds of swindles.
On Sept. 16, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Ventura, Calif., resident Liam O. Moran and his companies for sending out personalized letters to millions of consumers claiming they had won more than $2 million in sweepstakes money.
The letter then states the recipients have to send a $20 to $30 fee. The fine print on the back of the letter does tell consumers in "dense, confusing language" that they have not won anything and the fee is to provide consumers with a list of available sweepstakes, according to the FTC.
"The defendants have sent more than 3.7 million letters during the past two years, including nearly 800,000 letters to people in 156 countries in the first half of 2013," the FTC said in a news release Monday. "They have collected more than $11 million from consumers since 2009. The vast majority of the victims of this scam appear to be over 65."
Read the full complaint here.
A Florida-based marketing company that sent out more than 42.5 million unwanted and deceptive text messages agreed last week to turn over all their remaining assets to the Federal Trade Commission and to stop sending the text messages, the FTC announced Tuesday.
In its complaint, the FTC said Rentbro, Inc and its principals Daniel Pessin and Jacob Engel sent text messages to millions of consumers saying they had been selected to receive $1,000 gift cards to retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Walmart.
The texts included a hyperlink where consumers would input a code and then had to sign up "for more than a dozen risky trial offers, none of which was free, to qualify for the promised “free” gift card," according to the FTC.
Rentbro was able to obtain $377,321 from the scam, according to the FTC. The agency must turn over all of their assets and the FTC imposed a partially suspended monetary judgment of $377,321.
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