A Fable of Fraud: ZIFL publishes this Story at Holiday Time Every Year. I Hope You like it Again.

AuthorZalma, Barry

* The story that follows is fiction based, in part, on a true case worked on by me. Any similarity to real people is unintentional. It is meant only to educate fraud professionals about how some unscrupulous people use the crime of insurance fraud for fun and profit during the Christmas season.

Raymond Alexander had no religion. He cared only for himself and the money he could take from good-hearted people.

Raymond loved the Christmas season.

The marks were in such a kind and giving mood it wasn't even work to take their money.

The Christmas before last Raymond stumbled on insurance fraud as a lucrative means of making quick, easy money. Raymond made a good living playing bunco schemes about town. He would work the money switch with old folks, the dip, and every possible scam invented to take money from honest people who had a little larceny in their hearts.

Because he was good at what he did Raymond lived well. He leased a three-bedroom apartment in the best part of town, drove a BMW convertible when he wasn't working and purchased all of his suits from a custom tailor. He ate at gourmet restaurants and collected an eclectic assortment of popular art dishes and Lladro figurines.

Raymond, because he loved his collection, insured his home with the best and most expensive insurer he could find. He had his dishes and figurines appraised and scheduled on his policy so there was no dispute concerning their value if he had to make a claim.

Last Christmas burglars entered Raymond's home and stole two Lladro figurines and one art dish depicting the English Countryside on Spode china. Raymond was upset that a burglar ripped him off. It was his profession to rip off others. Raymond felt he now understood how women who had been raped must feel.

Raymond called his insurance agent and reported his claim. To his surprise his insurer telephoned him and asked what was lost. No one came to his home. No one asked to come to his home to investigate. They merely called on the telephone and asked for the number of the police report so the insurer could obtain a copy.

Such unthinking trust deserved to be made a victim of Raymond's wiles. He, the consummate professional, could not resist the temptation. He told the person on the telephone that he was not sure what was taken and that he had only reported that which was obvious on first inspection to the police. As a bunco artist of the first order what came next was simple - the police officer had left him with a sheet of paper to list any items that he later discovered were missing. Raymond sat at his oak and leather antique partner's desk and prepared his supplemental police report. On the report he listed one out of every four items on the insurance schedule. Then he added three Armani suits, two pairs of Ecco dress boots, a pair of Bruno Magli sport shoes, two pairs of gold cufflinks, and a simple Omega wrist watch. He was not greedy.

He sent the list...

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