Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tangled Webs

Maybe it's the troubled economy, or perhaps folks are really pressed for funds to pay their ObamaTax, but it seems like there's been a spate of fraudulent life insurance death claims of late. A few months ago, it was a "widow" filing for $2 million worth of life insurance; turned out, her "late" hubby was very much alive. That one was truly a family affair: "Her son ... was charged with actively concealing the fraudulent scheme." That one included another nice touch: "At her request ... the body was cremated."

One way to get rid of evidence.

But even that well-planned scheme pales in comparison to the intriguing case of The Gorman and The Fox:

"When a man was found dead in a Houston-area motel room of apparent natural causes in January, police figured it would be an open-and-shut investigation ... the man — whose fingerprints identified him as Gerard Joseph Gorman — was suspected of murder in Colleyville."

And it just gets worse from there; it appears that Mr G and his son "stalked and killed Anita Fox, an elderly Alvarado housekeeper."

Grisly, yes. Tragic, of course. But what has any of this to do with life insurance, let alone fraud?

Well, ya see, Danny boy, the Gorman's were Irish Travelers, "a secretive and nomadic ethnic group whose members often garner their wealth by doing dubious repair work and executing scams — and by taking out exorbitant life insurance policies on one another."

In this case, it appears that the late Anita Fox was no stranger to these schemes, even as she fell victim to one.

Here's my question, though: Mrs Fox is described as "an elderly Alvarado housekeeper;" how, exactly, did someone convince the carrier to issue a million dollar policy on a maid? Generally speaking, a policy that large is going to require at least some "financial underwriting;" that is, one's income and/or assets have to justify such a large (even by today's inflated standards) amount.

As an aside, I really hate it when reporters just take their subject's word for something, as if either one of them had an actual clue:

"In America, there’s a clause which allows you to insure anyone with a blood connection"

This is simply wrong: no such "clause" exists, and it doesn't even pass the smell test: Really? An insurance company will let me buy a $1 million insurance policy on my second cousin, in another state, no questions asked? So "insurable interest" is trumped by blood?

I don't think so, Deanna. Next time, do a bit more research.

Something just doesn't add up.
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