BISMARCK, N.D. – Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, in partnership with the Bismarck Police Department and the Burleigh County State’s Attorney’s Office, today announced the filing of an insurance fraud charge against James Lagein of Bismarck, ND.
“It’s important for consumers and companies alike to understand that the Department has dedicated investigators on staff who are vigilantly looking for crimes of this nature,” Godfread said. “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime – it affects all of us in the form of increased premiums. The average family pays an additional $900 a year in premiums due to insurance fraud. This is why the Department is proud to be partnering with county state’s attorneys across the state in prosecuting these offenses to effectively bring those we’ve found to have committed insurance fraud to justice.”
The Department’s report stated that Lagein used another individual’s health insurance policy information to fraudulently obtain services from a local hospital. United Health Group was billed for treatments provided during this time. The violation of law resulted in more than $5,000 that was not the responsibility of the insurance company being paid to the hospital.
Insurance fraud costs consumers in the United States between $80-120 billion each year. It is the second most profitable crime in the United States behind only illegal drug sales. Examples of insurance fraud include but are not limited to:
- Deliberate attempts to stage an accident, injury, theft, arson or other type of loss that would be covered under an insurance policy (ie. setting fire to your home)
- Exaggerating a legitimate claim (ie. doubling the value of stolen jewelry)
- Knowingly omitting or providing false information on an insurance policy application (ie. purchasing a policy for a previously damaged vehicle and omitting the damage in the application to file a claim at a later date)