Detectives concluded a two-month-long investigation which resulted in the arrest of a Patterson woman on Thursday, according to a news release from State Police Troop I.
In July 2011, 30-year-old Katina Batiste obtained insurance coverage for a 2005 Chevrolet Impala, the report stated. Several days after obtaining coverage, Batiste filed a damage claim for over $3,000 for damage she said was sustained to her vehicle, the news release stated. Detectives were able to obtain evidence that indicated the damage to Batiste’s vehicle had been sustained prior to her obtaining coverage, the State Police news release stated.
Based on the evidence gathered by detectives, an arrest warrant for Batiste was obtained. She was arrested on Thursday for insurance fraud and she was booked into the St. Mary Parish Jail.
In a separate incident, on Friday, detectives arrested John Bell Jr. of New Iberia for insurance fraud following a two-month-long investigation.
According to the State Police news release, in June 2011, 70-year-old John Bell Jr., owner of Jo-Bell’s Wrecker Service, filed a theft claim with his insurance company. In the claim, Bell stated a 2005 Ford truck had been stolen from his property. The truck was recovered one week later, and Bell claimed that damage on the truck had been sustained during the period for which it was missing. Detectives found evidence that showed the damage to the truck had been sustained prior to it being reported stolen, and prior to it being insured. The value of Bell’s claim was more than $9,000.
Detectives booked Bell into the Iberia Parish Jail for insurance fraud.
Troopers with Louisiana State Police Towing and Recovery Unit have been informed of the arrest, and have begun a separate investigation of Bell’s business, the news release stated.
If convicted of insurance fraud, under the state statute, it is a felony and a person may be imprisoned up to five years and fined up to $5,000. The person may also have to pay restitution to the insurance company for any payments the court determines were not owed.