An Arnold, Md., woman received a five-year prison sentence and must pay $98,050 in restitution for fake hospitalization claims for her son.
Shirley Rae Owens, 31, pleaded guilty in October to one count of felony theft of more than $100,000. Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge William C. Mulford III suspended all but six months of her sentence, and imposed five years of probation.
“This is the type of crime that raises insurance rates for law-abiding consumers,” said Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler. “This sentence tells anyone tempted to commit insurance fraud that this is not a victimless crime and there will be serious consequences when you’re caught.”
Owens, from September 2008 through July 2010, falsely claimed her son had 395 overnight stays at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital in Baltimore, totally $99,000 in benefits. Owens had a hospital policy that included $250 per day for hospital stays and covered family members. She took out the policy in 2005 while working for a local State Farm Insurance agency.
Authorities said the claims were filed using expired cover sheets and were not faxed from the local office, according to reports.
State Farm Insurance received and paid out 14 claims that said Owens’ son had been held overnight at the hospital. The claims, plus another $750 in benefits, were mailed to Owens’ Arnold home.