October 21, 2019
LANSING — An Ecorse man who made fraudulent claims under Michigan’s auto-no fault system was sentenced today by Wayne County Circuit Judge Deborah A. Thomas to four years of probation and ordered to pay $40,387 in restitution, as well as court costs and fees (or 150 hours of community service), announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Department of Insurance and Financial Services’ (DIFS) Director Anita G. Fox.
Emmanuel Christ Palmer, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of False Pretenses (more than $1,000 but less than $20,000) and one count of Insurance Fraud. Palmer is a habitual offender with numerous previous felony convictions.
Palmer scammed the auto insurance system in May 2015 when the ambulance taking him to the hospital for a health condition was involved in a minor accident. The accident was so minor that the ambulance was still able to take Palmer to the hospital after local police took a report. Despite his claims of serious injury, both paramedics observed Palmer getting out of bed and walking around.
During the course of his claim for no-fault benefits, an internal investigation from the insurance company revealed Palmer had been falsifying documents to receive no-fault benefits. The case was initially investigated by the DIFS’ Fraud Investigation Unit and then referred to the Attorney General’s Office for criminal charges.
“This case should serve as a strong message to Michigan residents that DIFS and the Attorney General will not overlook those who cheat a system designed to serve those in need,” said Nessel. “While a number of factors contribute to Michigan’s high auto insurance rates, we must take action to reduce the estimated $820 million our state racks up annually in fraud.”
“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime,” added Fox. “Fraud results in increased insurance premiums for everyone. This case serves as an example of how DIFS and the Attorney General are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who engage in insurance fraud.”
For more information about how insurance fraud affects consumers and how to report suspected insurance fraud, visit the DIFS website.