Richmond man indicted in insurance fraud scheme


A Richmond man has been indicted on more than 100 charges and several other Contra Costa County residents were arrested this week in connection with an insurance fraud scheme in which fires and car crashes were allegedly set up to file false claims, prosecutors said.

A county grand jury on Aug. 1 indicted 49-year-old Louis Houston on 113 counts in connection with an ongoing insurance fraud scheme in which he allegedly set fire to homes, destroyed property and sought payment for items that didn’t exist, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

According to prosecutors, between 2000 and 2011, Houston claimed property losses from at least 10 fires, 20 incidents of vandalism or theft, eight car collisions and six water damage incidents.

In addition, Houston allegedly sought reimbursement for property damage for the same item in multiple unrelated claims by reusing his receipts or using receipts for items that were bought and returned, according to the district attorney’s office.

Five co-defendants accused of sharing receipts with Houston and using them to file false claims were arrested on warrants this week in connection with those schemes, Deputy District Attorney Devon Bell said.

Sadi Zeigler, 23, of Vallejo and Pittsburg resident Crystal Robinson, 25, first took part in the fraud scheme in 2009, while 28-year-old Kimberly Burdeen-Tanner of Pittsburg, Richmond resident Joan Smith, 32, and Fresno man Cedric Jackson, 29, first filed false claims in 2011, Bell said.

In July 2012, after a yearlong investigation by the state Department of Insurance, search warrants were carried out at Houston’s
Richmond home and storage unit and at Jackson’s home in Fresno.

During the searches, investigators found numerous items that had been reported stolen or destroyed in the co-defendants’ fraudulent insurance claims.

Each of Houston’s co-defendants is in custody, while the Richmond man remained at large as of this morning, Bell said.

According to the state insurance department, insurance fraud costs Californians about $15 billion each year.

“These schemes cause everyone’s insurance rates to go up, so in essence we’re all paying for their fraud,” Bell said.

Bell noted that Houston’s fraud schemes “involve arson, which puts the public at risk as well.”

Contra Costa County residents can report suspected insurance fraud to the district attorney’s office at (925) 957-8604.

(Copyright 2013 Bay City News.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  1. chen yuping says:

    诈骗保险的人,真是数不胜数的人,我在2008年5月6日或7日,向保险公司(WRL)高层管理人员举报过,凶手谋杀我丈夫Wade Gary Glandt,凶手合谋精心计划,其他从中诈骗我丈夫Wade保险赔偿金的同时,凶手还精心计划谋害谋杀我的行动。我丈夫Wade他绝对不是自然死亡的事实告知保险公司(WRL)高层管理人员,高层却告知我,人死亡他们保险公司就赔偿,他们保险公司,不去调查是否自然死亡的真正愿意,因为调查需要非常庞大的人力和物力,这就是保险公司愿意承担赔偿,也不愿意去将违法犯罪分子杀人凶手绳之以法,以至于才造成保险公司被诈骗所造成的损失,以上加州保險局表示,每年保險詐騙案令加州居民損失約150億元,这个数字只是加州保險局知道的表面损失金额,而有很多是加州保險局,完全不知道的损失。保险公司是非常康凯的愿意即刻承担赔偿,这就完全被违法犯罪分子利用,所以才造成早前AIG保险公司损失惨重,要靠美国政府和纳税人出钱支撑,一个跨国国际保险公司的危机。总之保险公司出现了财政危机,那么就是美国政府和纳税人承担,可以说是保险公司故意、或支持、更是鼓励,让违法犯罪分子去诈骗保险赔偿金的行为和方式。

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