Man Gets 4 to 10 Years for Lighting the Match in Pet Shop Arson


Kirk Bills (AP)

Last week we reported on the story about two individuals who set fire to a Las Vegas pet shop where 27 puppies and dogs were rescued when the building’s sprinkles doused the arson fire. Gloria Lee was sentenced last week to 5 to 14 years in prison for arson, insurance fraud and attempted animal cruelty.

On Monday co-defendant Kirk Bills was sentenced to 4 to 10 years for his involvement in the case. Clark County District Court Judge David Barker said Bills acted “hand in hand” with former shop owner Gloria Lee.

“You’re the one who chose to light the match,” the judge told Bills. “You couldn’t have possibly not known those were living creatures in these cages.”

The incident sparked intense interest and protests from animal rights advocates after Lee was arrested in Las Vegas shortly after the fire. The animals became the focus of an ownership battle before they were raffled in March to raise money for local animal shelters.


Thief Steals $15,000 Bike Using Electronic Device

As we’ve reported earlier thieves have been using an “unknown device” to gain access into vehicles and steal the contents in the vehicle.

These electronic “scanner boxes” allows the thief to mimic the signal emitted by key fobs that open car doors with the click of a button. Once inside, thieves can steal personal items.

Sausalito (CA) police said last Thursday a man used this same type of device to unlock a vehicle. Surveillance footage shows the suspect casing a parked black Audi. He approaches the car and taps the passenger’s door handle. The doors unlock and the man is able to walk away with a suitcase and a $15,000 Cervelo custom bike.

Video courtesy of ABC 7 KGO

Woman That Set Fire to Pet Shop Sentenced to Prison

Gloria Lee

Gloria Lee was sentenced to five to 14 years in prison Courtesy: Las Vegas Review-Journal

Gloria Lee, 36, was sentenced yesterday to five to 14  years in state prison for torching her Las Vegas pet store with 27 puppies and dogs inside. Lee was caught on surveillance video removing files while co-defendant Kirk Bills poured liquid on the floor around locked kennel cages and ignited it.

The pet shop, Prince and Princess, sprinkler system was able to douse the flames and saved the lives of the 25 puppies and two adult dogs inside the store.

During ther trial, Lee revealed that she is pregnant, but the news did not put off the lengthy sentence in the case. Prosecutor Shanon Clowers said the pregnancy announcement was simply an attempt at garnering a “get out of jail free card.”

Lee pleaded guilty in October to arson, insurance fraud and attempted animal cruelty charges in a plea deal that had 28 other charges against her dismissed.

Fraud Files: Deadly Theft Ring

FraudFilesDeadlyTheftRingIn this edition of Fraud Files we take a look at a multi-jurisdictional task force in Missouri that had been investigating multiple vehicle thefts near the Franklin and Jefferson county line.

Officers were going to make an arrest in a garage, near Lonedell, Missouri, when a vehicle with three people inside charged at the officers. The officers then opened fire on the vehicle, striking two men inside and killing one of them.

For more episodes of Fraud Files click here.

Fighting Fraud Through New Technology

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is a not-for-profit organization that receives support from nearly 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. For over 100 years the NICB has partnered with insurers and law enforcement agencies to facilitate the identification, detection and prosecution of insurance criminals.

In January AM Best caught up with NICB CEO Joe Wehrle and took a tour of our New York office to see how we continue to combat insurance fraud on a daily basis.

The Walking Dead: Couple Indicted for Faking Husband’s Death

What would you do for two million dollars? A lot of people would do just about anything to strike it rich these days, but one Minnesota couple took it to the extreme.

Alkon Vorotinov

Alkon Vorotinov (Instagram)

Irina and Igor Vorotinov were indicted Thursday on suspicion of scheming to cheat an insurance company out of $2 million by allegedly faking his death in the family’s homeland of Moldova. Their son, Alkon Vorotinov, was previously indicted for his role in the cover-up, and intends to plead guilty next month.

According to the case against the Vorotinovs, Igor bought a life insurance policy in April 2010. Then in October 2011, police in Moldova were notified about a dead body found along the road. A passport, hotel cards and phone numbers identified the man as Igor Vorotinov.

KMSP has the full story of this bizarre case.


Chicago Tow Company Accused of Scamming Customers

As we’ve reported earlier tow trucks scams are becoming a major issue across the country. In Chicago rogue towing has become the most popular trend. That is when tow operators take advantage of accident victims in order to charge exorbitant fees over and above what would be reasonable to tow a vehicle.

One tow company in Chicago has been placing online ads for tows for only $65. However, Natalie Bomke of WFLD-TV found out that wasn’t the case for many victims of this alleged scam.
FOX 32 News Chicago

Three Arrested in Operating Illegal Medical Clinic

Three individuals in Florida were arrested yesterday for allegedly operating an unlicensed clinic in Orlando that was used as part of a personal injury protection (PIP) fraud scheme.


Courtesy: Google Maps

Dr. Lherisson Domond fronted ownership of the clinic, Unity Pain and Injury Center, from February to December 2012, but the clinic was operated by several non-licensed individuals who offered to pay Domond $1,500 a month for use of his name.
An investigation stated the clinic illegally provided medical treatment and physical therapy to individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents. The treatments then were billed to insurers under the patients’ personal injury protection insurance coverage.

The investigation further revealed that two other individuals, Nesly Loute and Pierre Alex Herisse, allegedly hired clinic staff and managed its operations. The three arrested individuals face felony charges for fraud, operating an unlicensed clinic and grand theft that carry sentences of up to 30 years.

Florida Town Experiencing a Rise in Tailgate Thefts

Last year the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reported that tailgate thefts increased by 32% in 2013.

The underground market is lively for items that can be acquired at a fraction of their legitimate cost. Tailgates are no exception. While many of these stolen tailgates end up on similar vehicles, others are simply sold for scrap, which contributes to the nationwide problem of metal theft. TailgateTheft

Tailgate thefts can occur anywhere; several episodes of multiple thefts have occurred in single locations, such as auto dealers’ lots and shopping malls. Since a tailgate theft takes just seconds to accomplish, consumers might consider using an after-market security device, such as a hinge lock to thwart criminals.

Florida is fourth in the nation for tailgate thefts and this past week over eight tailgates were targets in Deltona, Florida. WESH-TV filed the following video report on the incidents.


Video courtesy of WESH-TV

The NICB recommends these tips to prevent your tailgate from being stolen:

  • First, if your model has an integrated lock, use it. If a tailgate can’t be opened, it can’t be stolen as easily. If you don’t have one, get one; they are relatively inexpensive.
  • Park with the tailgate as close as you can to an object or a structure to prevent the tailgate from opening.
  • Etch the truck’s vehicle identification number (VIN) or your own personal identification number into the tailgate; this will aid in its recovery and may prevent its theft in the first place.


Staged Accident Rings on the Rise in Houston

StagedAccidentPictureStaged accidents are dangerous criminal events that target innocent drivers with increasingly bold schemes aimed at defrauding insurance companies out of millions of dollars. These staged accidents rings have been getting bolder and bolder as we’ve discovered they are targeting semi-trucks in Las Vegas. Unless someone becomes suspicious, many of these staged accidents go undetected. NICB has created a series of videos demonstrating some of the most common types of staged accidents. They can be viewed here.

Recently Jace Larson, KPRC-TV Investigative Reporter, caught up with NICB Supervisory Special Agent, Louis Campbell to talk about the groups of criminal organizations that are are targeting Houston drivers and forcing them into an accident so that they can claim injuries and collect on the insurance.

Video courtesy of KPRC-TV
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