The Legal Beagle

Insurance Fraud, Caught in the Act

Insurance Fraud, Surveillance and Detective Work

Thirty-two year old Edward Stone, owner and sole private investigator of Stone Izall Surveillance, slid back the driver’s seat in Dewayne’s BugsBeGone van, lit a Marlborough Red and began reading the profile of his current surveillance suspect, Terrence Baxter.

As Edward’s eyes skimmed past Baxter’s car accident, biographical and medical history, he mentally complimented Lynn Powell.

Lynn was a veteran insurance defense paralegal at Bosley & Bagger, a defense law firm representing Savecarro, the largest automobile insurer in Texas. Her reports were gems.

Reviewing The Injury Report

Bosley & Bagger’s reports spelled out how the individual had been hurt, the medical treatment received, and any claims on how his or her life had been irreparably and detrimentally altered. If the extent of injuries was as severe and lasting as alleged, the claimants deserved compensation. They had endured physical, mental and emotional suffering because of someone else’s carelessness. The legitimate claims are often settled. Those that went on to law firms, however, were another story.

Bosley & Bagger was one of the largest insurance defense firms in Houston, TX. It had earned high accolades from its peers because of its skill in identifying and catching the exaggerators and outright cheats. Edward Stone was confident that his private investigative work and surveillance had helped Bosley & Bagger earn its five star rating.

From Cheating Wives to Insurance Fraud

Houston Corporate Detectives

After being trained and gaining experience as a result of tenure with Gradoni & Associates, a premiere Houston private investigation agency, Edward Stone was already trained by the best private investigators and detectives in Texas, and was doing a fine job as an independent private investigator.

Stone Izall Surveillance had graduated from spying on cheating husbands and stalking trampy wives to becoming a highly respected corporate detective in Houston after exposing insurance fraud with the Greenway case.

Edward had never looked back.

His work on Greenway demonstrated to Bosley & Bagger that Edward understood insurance fraud. At its core, fraud was misrepresentation of material fact. For whatever reason, the downtrodden and injured suddenly awakened. Perhaps it was an epiphany or maybe they had watched a good episode of Judge Judy. The injured seized on the tragedy of the accident that had shattered their world, with its broken ribs, shattered jaws, dislocated shoulders, crushed pelvis and other life threatening injuries, as an opportunity.

These were the ones who didn’t get well. New symptoms appeared. Pain was unmanageable. The doctor visits never stopped. A merry-go-round of consultations and specialists ensued. Perhaps some of them simply never had much of a life to begin with, and the accident was the final straw that broke them. Others awakened to slyness. They came to understand (and perhaps Terrence Baxter was one of them) that the more severe the injury, the longer the healing time, the more money that could be demanded to settle the claim.

Detective Work

Well, Edward thought to himself, it was time to begin acting like a detective. His van was attracting interest in this quiet bread and breakfast community. Edward’s best buddy since middle school, Dewayne Camo, periodically let Edward use one of his vans as a surveillance cover. Edward’s summer jobs in high school had included spraying yards and homes for Dewayne’s father, and Edward didn’t mind soliciting extermination business for Dewayne as he conducted Terry Baxter’s investigation.

Before he got out and began the neighborhood crawl, Edward wanted to see if he could get some photos of Baxter. Edward examined Baxter as he mowed and raked to see if Baxter limped or dragged his foot. The report had stated Baxter’s ankle had been crushed, set with screws and pin, and his knee cap almost fractured as well. Baxter had said in deposition that he was unable to bend to stack a dishwasher, had trouble vacuuming the steps in his town home, washing his car, cleaning or doing yard work, and was unable to carry weights over 45 pounds because his knee gave out.

Yard Work In Houston’s Heat

Edward had fidgeted in the front seat and watched as Baxter started the mower and began pushing it steadily back and forth over fairly deep, 4″ high grass. True, he dragged his right leg a bit and showed a mild limp, but this young man was extremely fit. His gas edger and old-fashioned hedge shears adorned the concrete slab driveway in anticipation of neatening up the driveway and trimming the hollies before the front window.

Houston, TX in August was still, flat, humid and oppressively hot. It was going to be another scorcher and the wise knew to finish mowing, trimming and weeding before 10:00 a.m.

Baxter finished the yard and picked up the edger. As he pulled the cord to start it, he gazed intently at the parked Dewayne’s van. Edward knew that was his cue. Edward opened the door, walked to the van’s rear, and removed the equipment to spray for pests and termites. Edward strolled past Baxter and knocked on the front door of the next-door neighbor. No one answered the door.

Edward headed toward Baxter’s and stopped to admire his well-toned physique, flat abs and deep brown, glistening muscles. This guy worked out. “Hello there,” said Edward to Baxter. “I’m with Dewayne’s BugsBeGone and was canvassing the neighborhood to see if I could drum up a little business. Do you have any roaches, silverfish, or other pests you would like me to exterminate?” Baxter smiled congenially and answered, “Naw, man. We are good. Thanks for asking, though.” “You’re welcome. Would you mind taking my card? That way, if you ever need a good pest control service in the future, you’ll have my card.” As Baxter stopped his yard work to take the card, Edward noticed a mild limp when Baxter walked over.

“Hey, man, you OK?” Baxter smiled and said, “Oh, this limp? Bad car wreck. My ankle was busted up pretty good, but my surgeon put in screws. It isn’t as good as new, but it works. It pains me some, but I get by most days.” “Looks like it,” said Edward. “That’s a pretty big yard. With grass that deep, you had your work cut out for you.” Baxter ran his hand over his afro and leaned down to rub his knee. “Yeah, I had to push stronger because I let it go, but I got it done. That’s what a Toro and working out at Gold’s Gym will do for your bum knee and ankle. I’m getting stronger a little at a time.”

To prove it, Baxter leaned down, picked up two loaded 50 gallon lawn and leaf bags, and headed toward his garbage cans. Recognizing his dismissal, Edward said, “Thanks for your time, man. Don’t forget to give Dewayne’s a call if you need pest control.”

Conclusion

Edward was pleased as he walked off. He had at least six good photos and the name of Baxter’s gym in east Houston. Although Baxter had a permanent limp, he was certainly able to walk, handle yard work, bend, vacuum, clean, and go to work. No, Baxter’s deposition testimony was not very truthful. Edward whistled. He was going to catch another scammer red handed. Careful and discreet surveillance, photos, along with his well-written report would drive down the settlement value and help make Savecarro a satisfied Bosley & Bagger client. It was going to be a good day.

Police State America

Democrat ‘Destabilization Campaign’ Blamed for Flynn Resignation

A “destabilization campaign” by opponents of President Donald Trump is responsible for National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn’s resignation, WikiLeaks alleged Tuesday.

The online publishing organization specifically blamed the intelligence community, the Democratic Party and the media in a tweet surrounding the incident.

“Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns after destabilization campaign by US spies, Democrats, press,” WikiLeaks stated.

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The Legal Beagle

The Penal Implications of Bank Robbery

Bank Robbery in Oxnard Monday .Oxnard Police collects evedence from vehicle used in bank robbery of the California Federal Bank at Channel Islands Blvd and Saviors Road in Oxnard.The robbers drove the car a few blocks then switched into two ther vehicles and escaped(?).Photo/Art by:Spencer Weiner

Robbery is the act of stealing money or valuables from another individual or a group of individuals through force or the threat of force. Robbery is one of the many forms of theft that exist. Specifically, bank robbery is the act of stealing money or valuables from a bank through the use or threat of force.

When an individual is charged with bank robbery, he or she has the right to a fair trial and the right to work with a competent defense attorney. These rights are in place to prevent innocent individuals from being convicted and subject to the penalties that accompany a criminal conviction, such as fines and jail time. However, innocent people are charged with criminal offenses every day and if you find yourself in this situation, it is critical that you work with an experienced federal lawyer who can draw upon their knowledge and experience with bank robbery cases to defend you.

At all points in the criminal justice process, know that you have civil rights. This is the key to protecting them during an investigation and trial.

Bank Robbery: Explanation

Although many people understand that robbery is a form of theft, it can be easy to become confused and use the terms “robbery,” “burglary,” and “theft” interchangeably. Theft is a blanket term that refers to all acts of intentionally taking money or valuables from others, through either direct means or indirect means like identity fraud and online scams. Robbery refers to the act of using force or the fear of harm to take money or a valuable from a victim, and burglary refers to the act of entering a building or area of a building without permission with the intention of committing a crime while inside. Often, but not always, the crime intended to be committed during a burglary is theft.

Banks are a popular target for robberies because they contain money. According to the FBI, the average bank robber came away from his or her crime with $7,500 in 2010.

The use or threat of force is the common thread in all bank robberies. If a weapon is involved, an offense is considered to be an aggravated robbery.

Bank Robbery: Criminal Penalties

Bank robbery is a crime at both the federal and state level. In Texas, robbery is a second degree felony and can be punished by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Aggravated robbery is a first degree felony, which can also result in a $10,000 fine as well as a prison term of up to 99 years.

At the federal level, 18 US Code 2113 specifically discusses bank robbery. Under this statute, any individual who is found guilty of robbing or attempting to rob a bank can face up to 20 years in prison as well as a significant fine. Receiving, concealing, or otherwise accepting money or valuables taken from a bank is punishable by 10 years in prison, and when a weapon is used or a threat of weapon use is made during a bank robbery, the defendant can face up to 25 years in prison. This includes the use of a toy weapon. If a victim dies as a result of the defendant’s actions during a robbery, the defendant can face life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Because a robbery can involve multiple actions, an individual can face multiple charges. For example, an individual might face an assault or murder charge alongside his or her robbery charge. These, as well as factors like the individual’s criminal history and the amount of money stolen through the robbery, are used in determining a convicted defendant’s sentence.

Bank Heist: Defending You in Court

Robbery and other theft charges can be complicated. If you have been charged with bank robbery, be proactive and start working with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to create a strong defense for your case. A criminal charge is not the same as a criminal conviction – with the right defense strategy, you can prove your innocence. Further, even if you are found guilty, you can potentially have your charge lowered to one with lesser penalties.

To learn more about your rights and legal options, contact an experienced bank robbery attorneys like former United States prosecutor Amber R. Spurlock who is equipped to determine the best legal strategy for your unique case.