What You Need to Know
- Aflac reported concerns about the claims to Michigan insurance regulators.
- State insurance regulators investigated the allegations together with Ogemaw County officials.
- Local media reports about the charges attracted about 200 Facebook shares and 17 Twitter likes within 36 hours after the news appeared.
Fourteen residents of Ogemaw County, Michigan, submitted a wave of fraudulent claims for injury benefits to Aflac, according to officials with the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
The residents received a total of $3 million in benefits payments for injury-related chiropractic treatment that never occurred, officials said earlier this week.
For insurance agents, the news could represent an opportunity to educate clients about the fact that the money for insurance benefits payments come from premium payments and, in some cases, investment earnings, not from thin air.
Aflac filed a complaint alleging insurance fraud with the Michigan insurance department.
The department’s fraud investigation unit conducted an investigation of the allegations with the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators found enough evidence for the county prosecutor’s office to file charges against 14 people, according to officials with the Michigan insurance department.
“The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be filed in the future,” officials said.
All 14 people charged were charged with a felony, insurance — fraudulent acts, and two were charged with identity theft.
Both insurance fraud and identity theft come with a maximum penalty of four years in prison, a fine of up to $50,000 and payment of restitution.
The prosecutor’s office has filed the charges with the 34th Circuit Court in Ogemaw County.