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Merrillville couple indicted for insurance scam

Updated: March 25, 2013 9:13PM



A Merrillville couple ran an insurance fraud scheme for the past four years, filing insurance claims on property they didn’t even own and taking in at least $86,000 over seven years, according to a federal indictment.

The indictment, returned Feb. 21 and unsealed Monday, charges Darian Lyndon Brown and his wife, Trenice Renae Woodley Brown, with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

The couple started the scheme in 2005, when they started amassing numerous home and auto insurance policies under different names and other fake identification numbers. Many of the policies covered property that the Browns did not own or did not even exist.

They would then file claims on the property for loss or damage that never happened and went so far as to create receipts from fake businesses for work supposedly done on the damaged property.

Some of the insurance companies would question the claims, according to the indictment, and in those cases the Browns would either ignore the company or challenge them with a lawsuit.

The indictment says most companies did pay the Browns, however, and mailed them checks, which ranged from about $5,000 to $25,000. The scheme lasted through last year, and the couple collected at least $86,007.



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