Department of Insurance and Financial Services Fraud Investigation Unit Announces Charges in Insurance Fraud Scheme
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2021
(LANSING, MICH) The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Fraud Investigation Unit (FIU) today announced insurance fraud-related charges against Christel Lanz, 48, of Portland, Mich.
“The DIFS Fraud Investigation Unit is committed to combating insurance fraud because fraud increases costs for all Michiganders in the form of higher insurance premiums,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “I am proud of the important work being done by of our investigators, and ask Michiganders to support these efforts by reporting suspected insurance fraud online at Michigan.gov/ReportFraud2DIFS or by calling 877-999-6442.”
Lanz was arraigned June 21 in Lansing District Court 54-A on 27 counts of uttering and publishing falsified documents, 4 counts of false pretenses ($50,000 to $100,000), and four counts of falsified tax-related forms. Lanz was released on a $20,000 personal recognizance bond.
Lanz is accused of submitting 27 fraudulent accident claims to receive more than $135,000 from Trustmark Insurance Company. The alleged fraudulent claims were submitted between March 2015 through May 2018 on behalf of herself and her family for injuries that never occurred.
Trustmark Insurance Company initiated an investigation into the claims before referring the case to the DIFS FIU in June 2020.
The DIFS FIU investigates criminal and fraudulent activity related to the insurance and financial markets and works with the Attorney General and other law enforcement to prosecute these crimes. Suspected insurance fraud can be reported to DIFS safely, easily and, in most cases, anonymously by calling 877-999-6442 or online by visiting the department’s website.
A Probable Cause Conference is scheduled for Friday, July 2 before Judge Stacia Buchanan and the Preliminary Examination is scheduled for Friday, July 9 before Judge Buchanan.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/difs or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.