22 | DECEMBER 2017 | Claims Magazine |
So meet the No-Class of 2017. They gambled,
danced on dynamite, and lost everything.
Michael Charles Young masterminded one of Sacramento’s
largest staged-crash rings ever. It was an attempted $500,000
Young bought cars through Craigslist, including many already
damaged. He recruited friends and relatives to crash them, and
invented paper wrecks.
Young gave his paid crashers written scripts to follow when
talking with insurers. About half of all claimed crashes involved
stolen IDs used to register vehicles and file claims.
About 65 cronies and 100 vehicles were involved. Young used
large numbers of vehicles and cohorts to cover up and evade detection. The vehicles also “crashed” only once to avoid suspicious
Investigators busted the scheme after watching one of Young’s
vehicles. The old heap never moved and was in such lousy shape
that Young towed it to an insurance office to file a claim. He lied
it was damaged in a collision that weekend. Young was towed to
state prison for 10 years.
David O’Dell thought Joseph Meyers was his best friend. Meyers
thought O’Dell was disposable. Meyers and his wife Iryn burned
him alive, torching his home for insurance payouts in Steuben
County, N. Y.
Meyers and Iryn simply wanted O’Dell for insurance money.
They’d collect $140,000 from coverage on a house they let O’Dell
live in, home possessions and a life policy. The place burned up,
and O’Dell was incinerated alive — his body a shrunken pile of
Surveillance footage showed the couple driving to O’Dell’s
home the night of the fire and carrying a propane torch plus a
container of liquid. Joseph and Iryn each earned 23 years to life.
FLAME AND BLAMES.
The godfather of a massive arson ring stole about
$1 million by torching
homes and vehicles. Ver-don Taylor’s ring bought
cheap homes and cars at
auctions and foreclosure
sales in the Richmond, Va. area. The ring over-insured and then
torched them — 30 fires during a 16-year binge.
Ring members stuffed mobile and rental homes with furniture
and clothing bought at flea markets or auctions. They re-used
property they burned for earlier claims. Scammers often set fires
just days after buying policies. Fire claims ranged up to $300,000.
Taylor faces up to 50 years in federal prison when sentenced.
UNSOBER SOBER HOMES.
Kenny Chatman spooned drugs to desperate addicts in his sober homes so they’d keep relapsing. Prolonging their addiction
incited more than $25 million of inflated and often worthless
rehab and drug testing claims in South Florida.