TOPEKA, Kan. — Thanks to assistance from the Kansas Insurance Department (KID) Anti-Fraud and Legal Divisions, a Garden City man was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution for insurance fraud involving wrecked vehicles.
The Ford County District Court late last month sentenced Eric Alan Hansen, a former insurance adjuster, to repay the money to Farm Bureau Insurance because vehicles he reported as totaled and retained by the owners were actually sold by Hansen to a local body shop.
The KID Anti-Fraud Division, upon receiving a request from the Dodge City Police Department, convened a meeting of personnel from KID, Farm Bureau investigators, the Kansas Attorney General’s office and the Kansas Department of Revenue. Later, the Ford County attorney filed charges, and Brenda Clary, an attorney with KID, was appointed special prosecutor for the case.
Hansen worked for Farm Bureau as an adjuster in Ford and Finney counties. According to the investigative reports, one of the tactics he used involved paying claims to vehicle policyholders on total losses. He would then obtain the title from the insured/claimant and report to Farm Bureau that the car was owner-retained as part of the settlement.
He kept the titles and took vehicles to a local body shop where he would receive a “finder’s fee” from the body shop owner, who then restored the vehicles and sold them. The activities occurred from 2007 to 2010.
A total of 10 vehicles were identified in the complaint, including a semi-tractor, cars and pickups.
In addition to the repayment, Hansen was sentenced to 20 months in jail, but he was placed on 24 month’s probation in place of incarceration as part of a plea agreement.
“This resolution is a great example of local and state cooperation in fighting fraud,” said Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance. “Insurance department personnel are always ready to do whatever they can to protect consumers from activities such as this.”