Ark. Regulators: MLK Director Made Misrepresentations in Auto Claims

May 1, 2008

The new director of Arkansas’ Martin Luther King Commission made misrepresentations in insurance claims for traffic accidents tied to an insurance fraud ring, according to a circuit court case filed by the Arkansas Insurance Department.

DuShun Scarbrough, who began working for the commission in March and has not been charged with a crime, said he had no idea he was mentioned in an insurance investigation. He said the allegations regarding him are false.

The allegations were first reported April 30 by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The case in Pulaski County Circuit Court accuses two Little Rock cousins of running a car-insurance fraud ring for almost 12 years. The case against Mark Anthony Watson and Fredrick Odell Rick Watson is to go to trial July 29.

According to filings in the case, Scarbrough made misrepresentations to an insurance carrier in connection with accidents in 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000.

State Insurance Commissioner Julie Bowman said Scarbrough has not been cooperative with the department. She said department investigators left cards at his office and home, asking him to call them but he has not.

Scarbrough said no one with the department has asked him about the insurance claims. He declined further comment.

According to court filings April 18 against the Watsons, Scarbrough made misrepresentations to an insurance carrier about his claim, how a crash happened and the extent of his injuries in connection with accidents Aug. 12, 1996; Aug. 7, 1997; and Oct. 13, 1997. He was a passenger in either of the Watson’s vehicles. Scarbrough accepted $5,000, $6,000, $1,256 and $2,081 insurance checks based on his misrepresentations, the lawsuit stated.

On another occasion, Scarbrough made misrepresentations about his claim, the cause of the collision and the extent of his injuries in connection with an Aug. 7, 1999, accident in which a rental car that he was driving intentionally struck another vehicle, according to the lawsuit. He accepted an insurance payment of $3,367 for rental car damage and $1,924 for alleged bodily injuries based on his misrepresentations, the complaint said. Mark Watson was a passenger in the vehicle.

Also according to the complaint, Scarbrough made misrepresentations about his claim, the cause of the crash and the extent of his injuries in connection with an April 1, 2000, accident when he was driving a rental car, with Fredrick Watson as a passenger.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, www.arkansasonline.com

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