The school district paid out $57,000 in medical care for Sten-
roos. However, he gave police conflicting stories about the in-
cident, and avoided investigators who wanted to question him.
Stenroos faces up to five years when sentenced.
An Explosive Scheme
The house blew up in a seething
fireball, engulfing the hired torch
whose amateurish attempt to help
the owners launch an insurance arson ended in his fiery death. Victor
and Olga Barriere wanted to get rid
of their Long Beach, Calif. home. The
rundown building was besieged by
code violations. The Barrieres also
were stuck with a $315,000 mortgage and rickety home nobody wanted to buy. Fed up, they hired
handyman Thomas Trucios to finish off the place.
But Trucios spread dangerously large amounts of gasoline
around. The fumes reached critical mass and exploded when he
tried to light the fire. Trucios never had a chance. He had third-
degree burns over 95 percent of his body, and died in the hospital.
Victor received 14 years and four months in state prison, while
Olga received six years.
Fake Deaths, Real Fraud
Bridgette Buckner received 10
years in state prison for stealing
life-insurance money by lying that
her child and husband had died.
The Chicago, Ill.-area woman had
life policies through her employer,
Hallmark Services. First she said
her preschool child, Briajay, had
died recently of an illness. But the
youngster had actually died four
years prior. Buckner gave her insurer a fake death certificate and collected $10,000 in life insurance money. Five months later, she
said her hubby was shot and killed in the line of duty as an FBI
agent. She filed a $15,000 death claim.
Buckner provided an investigator with vivid detail—her
husband was shot in the lungs and died while awaiting surgery. But the fraud investigator was a former FBI agent. He
grew suspicious because he would have heard about the husband’s death through the FBI grapevine. Nor did Buckner
place an obituary, and officials couldn’t even locate a burial
plot. Her hubby never was an FBI agent and was quite alive.
The couple was estranged, and he was unaware of the plot.
Buckner skipped out on bail and lived as a fugitive before
turning herself in.
Night of the Undead
How sad that Jim Davis died of a heart attack. He had a proper
funeral, and was laid to rest for eternity in a Los Angeles, Calif.
cemetery. But Davis didn’t die. In fact, he didn’t exist. A fraud ring
with mortuary worker Jean Crump among the lead players tried
to steal $1.2 million in life insurance
money by forging death certificates,
buying a burial plot, staging a funeral,
and burying an elaborate but empty
casket. The gang even hired fake
mourners to attend the service in case
anyone was watching.
When insurers started getting
nosy, a panicky Crump and her
sidekick dug up the casket, and filled it with cow parts and
a mannequin so mortuary workers wouldn’t get suspicious
when carrying it. The pair then had “Davis” and the casket
cremated. Next, they filed fake documents stating the remains
were cremated and buried at sea. Crump and her crony bribed
a doctor with $50,000 to create fake medical records to support the phony death.
Another plotter lied to insurers that she was Davis’ niece and
the beneficiary of the policies. Crump now awaits sentencing.
Carlos Quijada made a living
posing as a physician. The Hawthorne, N.J. man fraudulently
charged Medicaid more than $9
million in drugs in just one year.
Quijada and another make-believe
doc at the clinic owned by Yousuf
Masood saw more than 20,000 patients.
Quijada got his start by posting an
ad on Craigslist, seeking employment. Masood—a real doctor—
offered him the job.
He told Quijada to treat and diagnose patients, and prescribe
them meds. Quijada introduced himself to patients as “Dr. Qui-
jada.” The prolific Medicaid billings were made to look as if
Masood had treated the patients himself.
Masood gave his two deceptive “docs” pre-signed, blank
prescription pads. The penurious pair provided patients
with meds for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, insomnia, and other illnesses. As many as 100 patients visited
the clinic each day. Masood often wasn’t in the office or was
in another room watching TV while his phony docs rang up
insurance bills. “Dr. Quijada” faces up to 10 years in federal
prison when sentenced.
Tami Duvall poisoned her es-
tranged husband, Alan, for a $100,000
life policy she had bought just a month
before he died.
The Columbus, Ind.-area woman
slipped morphine and muscle relaxants into his dessert of whipped
cream and crushed chocolate cookies. Duvall called 911 the next morning, saying she found Alan dead on
their back porch. He drank himself to