N.H. Resident Pleads Guilty to Filing Fraudulent Claim

By | March 23, 2012

A New Hampshire woman pleaded guilty this month to filing a fraudulent claim on her renter’s policy. The suspicious claim was made in 2009 and was subsequently investigated by the New Hampshire insurance department’s fraud unit.

State authorities said Tammiann Searle of Kittery, Maine, pleaded guilty in the Hillsborough County, Northern District Superior Court, to a Class B felony insurance fraud. As part of the plea, she received a sentence of one-and-a-half to three years at the state prison, and was fined $4,000. All of the prison sentence and $3,000 of the fine were suspended for two years upon good behavior.

Searle was also required to make restitution of $24,139.00 to Liberty Mutual Insurance Corporation.

In 2009, Searle reported that the contents of her apartment were damaged beyond repair after water from firefighting efforts in the apartment upstairs, leaked down through the ceiling and walls.

To receive money from her renter’s policy with Liberty Mutual, she signed a false proof of loss form and concealed property from inspection by Liberty Mutual adjusters by claiming that it had been taken to the dump because it was destroyed by water damage. She was paid by Liberty Mutual to replace all the items she claimed were destroyed.

But the insurance department’s fraud unit found many items which were supposedly destroyed. Some items were found in the possession of Searle’s friends. These included high-end bedroom, living room and dining room furniture sets, a flat screen TV and other furnishings.

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