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Nearly $1.5 Million Ordered to be Returned After Sentencing of Individuals Involved in Insurance Fraud Scheme
March 28, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2022
(LANSING, MICH) The 34th Judicial Circuit Court has ordered that 6 individuals involved in a scheme to defraud AFLAC Insurance Company return nearly $1.5 million. This investigation began last year and was led by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Fraud Investigation Unit and the Ogemaw County Sheriff's Office.
"Fraudulent insurance claims drive up the cost of insurance for everyone, and thanks to the hard work of DIFS' Fraud Investigation Unit and the Ogemaw County Sheriff's Office, these criminals have been ordered by the court to return the funds obtained through their fraudulent scheme," said DIFS Director Anita Fox. "I urge everyone to report suspected insurance fraud online at Michigan.gov/ReportFraud2DIFS or by calling 877-999-6442."
In October 2021, DIFS and the Ogemaw County Sheriff's Office announced insurance fraud and identity theft charges against 14 individuals for allegedly submitting nearly $3 million in false insurance claims. The charges related to an alleged scheme to defraud AFLAC where the accused individuals submitted fake claims of injury to AFLAC indicating that they had received treatment at the Ogemaw Chiropractic Clinic.
The individuals sentenced to date are:
- Carol Christine Smith of Rose City: 6-months' probation, and fines and restitution of $203,545
- Amanda Nichole Hebert of Rose City: 6-months' probation, and fines and restitution of $213,515
- Samantha Marie Petty of West Branch: 1 day jail, 1-year probation, and fines and restitution of $363,900
- Melissa Marie Spencer of West Branch: 1-year probation, and fines and restitution of $571,496
- Ashley Marie Ehinger of West Branch: 6-months' probation, and fines and restitution of $28,483
- Patricia Ann Hebert of Rose City: 6-months' probation, and fines and restitution of $84,075
Criminal cases involving the remaining defendants in this investigation are ongoing in the 34th Circuit Court in Ogemaw County.
The DIFS Fraud Investigation Unit 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 DIFS' website.
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 Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.