Consumer Alert: Con artist uses love to lure others into insurance scam
Derrick Jimerson manipulated several women into becoming his accomplices in car insurance scam.
What would you do for love? One man was able to scam insurance companies out of thousands of dollars by using the women who loved him to help.
"When people think they are in love with somebody their judgment is clouded. That is why the romance scam works," says Jan Bodon, a U.S. Postal Inspector.
That's why Derrick Jimerson was able to manipulate several women into becoming his unwitting accomplices in an elaborate car insurance scam.
"He told these ladies that he used to be an ex-Cowboy player," says Bodon. "He said he had some trouble with the IRS and that was the reason he couldn't purchase vehicles himself."
Jimerson would give the women money to buy cars for him, but persuade them to purchase and insure the vehicles in their name.
"Eventually, he would call the ladies and say, "I had an accident in your car. You have to call the insurance company. This is how the accident happened,"" says Bodon.
He would give them very detailed information.
"A lot of these ladies didn't feel comfortable doing that, but he told them, "You have to report the accident yourself because the car is in your name and the coverage is in your name,"" says Bodon.
A chiropractor was a partner in the scheme.
"The deal was the chiropractor would get half of the proceeds," says Bodon. "Mr. Jimerson would get the other half of the proceeds. Mr. Jimerson would provide the identifiers and the information to the chiropractor and the chiropractor would then go ahead and complete the medical forms."
Insurance companies lost more than $700,000 in this scam until adjustors began asking questions.
"He thought, "I'm insulating myself by having accomplice be the one that is providing the fraudulent details to the insurance company,"" says Bodon.
He also didn't count on any of the women learning about the other women.
"Some of these ladies thought they were the one and only girlfriend and it became a surprise when they saw the other defendants and realized, "Wait, I'm a part of the five or six other ladies,"" says Bodon.
Jimerson was sentenced to 11 years and five months in prison for mail fraud.
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