Defendants Sentenced in Staged Automobile Accident Conspiracy Case
Defendants Convicted on Conspiracy, Mail Fraud, Health Care Fraud, and Witness Tampering in Scheme That Defrauded Various Insurance Companies
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 27, 2012|
DALLAS—The final two defendants who were convicted on various felony offenses related to their operation of a Fort Worth-based staged automobile accident scheme they operated in the Dallas-Fort Worth area from 2006 through 2011 were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade. The sentences were announced today by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Two defendants, who each pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud on the third day of their April 2012 trial, Kara Lashon Collins, 36, and Stephanie Denise Moses, 45, were sentenced today to 46 months and 12 months, respectively, in federal prison. Kara Collins was also ordered to pay approximately $356,000 in restitution, and Moses was ordered to pay approximately $95,000 in restitution. Judge Kinkeade ordered that they surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on January 3, 2013.
Earlier this month, the principal defendants who were convicted at trial, Frenchitt Su-Dell Collins, 42, and Alan Murray Robison, 32, were sentenced by Judge Kinkeade. Frenchitt Collins, who is Kara Collins’ husband and Alan Robison’s half-brother, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison and ordered to pay approximately $700,000 in restitution. Robison was sentenced to 110 months and ordered to pay approximately $203,000 in restitution. Both Frenchitt Collins and Robison were convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. In addition, Frenchitt Collins was convicted on three counts of mail fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft, and Robison was also convicted on one count of mail fraud. Both defendants were remanded into custody.
According to documents filed in the case and evidence presented at trial, the four defendants ran a conspiracy to defraud various insurance companies, including Hartford Lloyds Insurance Company, Travelers Insurance, GEICO Insurance Company, Nationwide Insurance Company, 21st Century Insurance Company, and Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, which resulted in them being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars based on fraudulent personal injury and property damage claims stemming from staged automobile accidents.
The defendants recruited individuals to claim they had been involved and injured in staged automobile accidents. They obtained insurance both on vehicles used in the accidents—sometimes using salvaged vehicles—and on the individuals allegedly driving the vehicles. The defendants also stole the identities of some unsuspecting individuals, including an Iraq war veteran and school cafeteria worker, and submitted fraudulent insurance claims in their names for supposed injuries suffered in the staged automobile accidents.
The defendants also allegedly created numerous fictitious chiropractic clinics to generate fraudulent medical records and bills to submit with the automobile insurance claims. They submitted fraudulent insurance claims to numerous private-pay property and casualty insurance carriers and caused these insurance carriers to settle accidents claims based on their submission of false and fraudulent property damage and personal injury medical records and bills. The defendants cashed the settlement checks and distributed the funds among themselves.
The trial evidence also revealed that after the defendants’ arrest on federal charges in May 2012, Frenchitt Collins and Alan Robison conspired to tamper with witnesses by attempting to have at least two trial witnesses sign false affidavits containing information the defendants believed would be favorable to their defense at trial. Both witnesses who were given false affidavits to sign refused to do so and gave copies of the affidavits to the FBI.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen P. Fahey, Errin Martin, and Kate Pfeifle prosecuted.