The cases may not be the stuff of mystery novels, but last year, gumshoes in the Minnesota Department of Commerce rooted out over $45 million in suspected insurance fraud that claimed more than 750 victims.
The department’s five-year-old insurance-fraud division posted its annual report on Wednesday. Of the 924 allegations received, 35% involved auto claim fraud. The 29 cases they referred for prosecution fingered 37 defendants. In 2008 the division's work resulted in 14 convictions. In 2007 it was 11.
George Kyrilis, a law-enforcement officer and the division’s director, wrote that “insurance fraud costs each Minnesota family up to $900” yearly, when companies raise premiums to make up for losses from fraud.
Last year the department saw a rise in fraud reports involving real estate, health, arson and mortgage insurance.
To report a suspected case of insurance fraud, call 1-888-FRAUDMN.