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Insurance Department files fraud charges against two

BISMARCK – North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, in partnership with the Cass County and Burleigh County State’s Attorney’s Offices, announced the filing of insurance fraud charges against Scott Goebel of Fargo and Marcus Lavallie of Bismarck.

In 2017, the North Dakota Insurance Department received a referral regarding Goebel and alleged insurance fraud. An investigation revealed Goebel was allegedly causing accidents in the Fargo area from August 2016 through August 2018, totaling $22,985. The department alleges Goebel intentionally maneuvered his vehicle in a way that would not only cause an accident but also make it appear to be the fault of the other driver. He would then fail to disclose any prior vehicle damage to the insurance company to receive more money from the company than was owed. Goebel is currently being prosecuted by the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office.

A separate department investigation into accidents involving Marcus Lavallie showed that from July 2018 through Nov. 2018, Lavallie allegedly caused accidents in the Bismarck area in an attempt to perpetrate insurance fraud, totaling $5,652. The department alleges Lavallie would intentionally collide with another vehicle and make it look like the other vehicle was at fault. Lavallie also failed to disclose any prior vehicle damage to the insurance company to receive more money from the company than was owed. He is currently being prosecuted by the department in partnership with the Burleigh County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“People need to understand the seriousness of committing insurance fraud,” Godfread said. “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime – it affects all of us. The department and our dedicated investigators are diligently looking for crimes of this nature and investigating them rigorously. Individuals in North Dakota will not get away with committing insurance fraud with the work the department is doing and the strong partnerships we have with our county state’s attorneys across the state.”

Insurance fraud costs consumers in the U.S. between $80 billion-120 billion each year. It is the second most profitable crime in the U.S. behind only illegal drug sales. Examples of insurance fraud include but are not limited to:

® Deliberate attempts to stage an accident, injury, theft, arson or other type of loss that would be covered under an insurance policy (ie. setting fire to your home).

® Exaggerating a legitimate claim (ie. doubling the value of stolen jewelry).

® Knowingly omitting or providing false information on an insurance policy application (ie. purchasing a policy for a previously damaged vehicle and omitting the damage in the application to file a claim later).

To report suspected fraud, please contact the department at 328-2440.

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