In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, crimes such as insurance fraud are receiving national priority and attention and the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud Unit is maintaining a zero tolerance approach to its investigations.
Destrehan resident, Everett Alleman, was arrested and charged with one felony count of insurance fraud after he allegedly forged receipts for merchandise he claimed was stolen from his vehicle after Hurricane Katrina.
Alleman, 58, was arrested following further investigation by the Louisiana State Police Disaster Insurance Fraud Unit into Alleman's apparent fraudulent insurance claims.
On the weekend before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, Alleman and his family were evacuating the parish when his vehicle experienced a flat tire. Alleman was forced to abandon his vehicle in a parking lot on Airline Drive in Destrehan. Following the storm, Alleman allegedly forged receipts for items including a flat screen television, Bose stereo, a digital camera, a DVD player, VCRDVD combination player and several weapons he claimed were stolen from his abandoned vehicle.
Alleman's insurance company noticed that the receipts submitted for his claim seemed altered and they contacted the Louisiana State Police Disaster Insurance Fraud Unit and reported that Alleman's claim may have been fraudulent. "The insurance company also suggested that residents normally do not evacuate with heavy appliances loaded in their car," said Sgt. Stacey Pearson of the Louisiana State Police.
After further investigation by the Disaster Insurance Fraud Unit, it was determined that Alleman digitally altered receipts from A-1 Appliances and created receipts for weapons he did not personally own so that he could claim them as stolen to his insurance company. It was later determined that Alleman did not own any of the claimed items. “If the insurance company had settled the claim, Alleman could have collected more than $7,000,” said Sgt. Pearson.
"We are investigating complaints understanding the human element involved. Residents in the state that benefit financially due to fraudulent claims hurt everyone in the state," said Sgt. Pearson. Pearson added, "Mr. Alleman faces five years in prison, a $5,000 dollar fine or both."
Alleman was released on $10,000 bond and currently awaits a hearing on his case.
In a related case, a resident of Hammond who was employed by a company in St. Charles Parish had a warrant issued for his arrest by the Lousiana State Police Disaster Insurance Fraud Unit after the subject allegedly materially misrepresented a theft claim to his insurance company by intentionally fabricating a receipt from his place of employment.
Steven Rivet, Jr., knowingly presented fraudulent written and oral statements to his insurer in support of a claim for payment. He submitted a manufactured receipt from his place of employment in St. Charles Parish with the intention of defrauding the insurance company of more than $4,500. On December 12, 2005, Rivet voluntarily surrendered to State Police Investigators and was booked in the St. Charles Parish Jail.
The Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud Unit continues to screen suspected fraud cases from private insurers in support of the federal joint task force established by U.S. Attorney Alberto Gonzales. The task force is designed to deter, investigate and prosecute disaster-related crimes such as insurance fraud.
|Everett Alleman, 58, Destrehan|