Third person charged in connection to insurance fraud

Local News

A third person is now charged in connection to an insurance fraud case in which police said a former accounts specialist at Clinics of North Texas helped two others stage false accident injury and damage claims.

Tenesha Crathers, 40, is charged with insurance fraud over $2,500, along previously charged Afreda Higgins-Williams, 41, and Travus Johnson, 42.

This is how police say the three committed the fraud:

In March 2017, a driver insured by Progressive Insurance rear-ended a car driven by Johnson who did not have a valid license. 

The insured driver said Johnson was the only occupant in the other car. That same day, Crathers filed an insurance claim, listing herself as the driver of the car that was struck and Johnson as a passenger.

Crathers called the insurance company and reported Johnson suffered neck and head injuries, and insurance employees said they could hear someone coaching her on what to say.

Ten days later, police said Johnson gave a recorded statement about his injuries to another insurance company, and it conflicted with the previous statement by Crathers.

Johnson told the insurance official he had missed work for a week and provided a forged doctor’s note from Clinics of North Texas physician. He then received a check from progressive for $820 for missed wages.

Johnson also reported more damage to the car than had occurred and got a check for about $860.

As well, Johnson provided an altered medical statement for an MRI from Clinics of North Texas for about $3,600.

An insurance investigator then notified Crathers they were investigating what they called a possible “jump in” fraud, which is when people wrongly claim they were in a car involved in an accident. Insurance officials said when they informed her of the investigation, Crathers withdrew the injury claim.

A member of the progressive special investigation unit reported the claim was altered from another patient’s claim and that Johnson had never been treated at the Clinic.

They also determined the fake doctor’s note was forged on stationary taken from the office of a doctor at the Clinic.

Clinics of North Texas then began an internal investigation which they said led to accounts specialist Williams.

The investigating police officer reported he was familiar with Williams from past fraud investigations involving multiple victims whose personal information was taken by Williams at her previous place of employment.

Police said the total amount of the fraud committed by the three people was just over $5,300.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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