An investigation into possible wildlife violations uncovered unrelated insurance fraud evidence that led to a recent criminal conviction in Kansas.
Lawrence E. Payne, Overland Park, was sentenced Dec. 6, 2016, to serve 30 days in jail and 24 months’ probation following the discovery of 140 pairs of collectible Nike-brand shoes.
The shoes were part of an insurance fraud investigation dating back to 2013.
The case was brought by the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office and the Kansas Department of Insurance’s AntiFraud Division. United States Fish and Wildlife Service officials found the shoes while conducting a search warrant in Payne’s home in connection with a case involving possible unregistered big cats brought into the U.S.
The insurance department’s anti-fraud division had filed probable cause court documents for the arrest of Payne following a 2013 alleged burglary of Payne’s home. The burglary supposedly occurred while he and his newlywed wife were vacationing in Colorado.
Listed as stolen during that burglary were electronic equipment worth more than $25,000, and the collectible shoes. Payne’s insurance company determined that the electronics claims were misrepresented, since the alleged business where the equipment was supposedly purchased did not exist.
The company dropped the Payne’s insurance in July 2013. However, Payne maintained that the shoes had been stolen, and he continued to pursue the case until the Wildlife Service search warrant turned up the missing shoes in his possession.
Source: Kansas Insurance Department
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