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Around the Region

Feb 18, 2007

By From Our Press Services


Accused fraud leader surrenders

LITTLE ROCK - Insurance investigators say a Little Rock man organized the most extensive automobile insurance fraud ring in the state's history, involving 44 accidents that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Fredrick Odell Watson, 33, turned himself in last week to charges including engaging in a continuing criminal gang organization or enterprise, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Investigators say Watson was the ringleader of a group that intentionally staged car accidents, then filed fraudulent insurance claims for vehicle damage and lost wages.

Drivers occasionally drove into bridges or telephone poles, then claimed to have fallen asleep at the wheel, investigators said. In one instance, two accused members ran into one another.

(c) 2007 Commercial Appeal, The. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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