NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — When it comes to scams and fraud, the Peace Garden State is struggling to find the peace.
Wednesday, KX News spoke with North Dakota’s Insurance Department, after we previously reported that the Cass County State’s Attorney’s office has now charged a 58-year-old Casselton man with insurance fraud.
An anonymous, one-sentence tip kick-started the investigation, during which the state found Paul Joseph Baumler had filed 39 claims through multiple insurance carriers involving ATV accidents.
Investigators determined that 14 of the 39 claims showed signs of misrepresentation.
Although it seems like fraud and scams are on the rise everywhere, Jacob Just from the Insurance Department still says these events are rare.
“It’s very uncommon. There are some red flags, especially if you’re filing several insurance claims amongst multiple carriers. I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily easy to get flagged. People may be tempted to commit it, because they see money,” said Jacob Just, with the Department of Communications for the State’s Insurance Department.
The total payout Baumler received from his false claims totaled more than $34,000.
Insurance fraud is a Class B felony and carries a maximum penalty of either 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.
“What our team looks at are irregularities in submitting claims, whether that be multiple claims filed with multiple carriers. And then also just kind what evidence do they submit when you submit a claim after you’ve been in a car accident or after you’ve received hail damage to your home or whatever. It may be often that you’re going to have to take a picture, you’re going to have to submit that to your insurance company, and so what our team did we looked at that evidence and determined that, ‘Yeah, there was some misrepresentation of what actually happened,'” said Just.
The main inspection for Baumler’s case has been completed, and more information is expected to be released later.
If you or someone you know has possibly committed or has been a victim of fraud, do not hesitate to report it to law enforcement.