Department arrests mother and daughter in $210,000 Operation Double Trouble disability insurance fraud scheme
News: 2020 Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Hazel Edwards, 59, of Menifee, and her daughter Laquinta Lowe, 38, of Chula Vista, were arrested on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and grand theft after allegedly submitting fraudulent disability claims to receive $212,307 in benefits.
The Department of Insurance began an investigation dubbed Operation Double Trouble after receiving a referral in 2018 from AFLAC, Edward’s insurance company. The investigation revealed that from 2014 through 2017 Edwards and Lowe submitted fraudulent disability claims and supporting documentation to AFLAC for alleged injuries they sustained.
Edwards submitted seven fraudulent claims resulting in $131,856 in payments and Lowe submitted four fraudulent claims resulting in $80,451 in payments - $212,307 in total. Edwards claimed to have sustained injuries while paying softball, hitting her head after falling from a step ladder, and being bitten by a snake. Lowe claimed to have sustained injuries while playing football, hitting her head after falling, and also being bitten by a snake.
Department detectives confirmed with the reported health care providers that Edwards and Lowe were not admitted to any of their medical facilities and were not treated by them for the alleged injuries they reported. They also confirmed that the medical records submitted to AFLAC in support of the disability claims were not completed or generated by the health care providers and were in fact, fraudulent documents.
During the course of the investigation, Edwards admitted to committing insurance fraud and she also admitted that her daughter, Lowe, was part of the scheme.
Edwards and Lowe were arrested on Thursday, December 17, 2020. Edwards was booked into the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department - Southwest Detention Facility and Lowe was booked into the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department - Las Colinas Women Detention Facility. Bail for each is $50,000. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.
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Arrest photos available upon request.
Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.