Disabled people out of money, out of luck in $600M swindle
Life dealt hundreds of impoverished Kentuckians crippling injuries and pain. Then life dealt them Eric Conn. Many were unemployed coal miners, scratching out a sparse living in pain. Conn was a flamboyant lawyer who promised he’d get their disability checks coming in, to help pay for critical medical care.
Instead Conn launched a $600-million insurance flimflam. It was the largest federal disability ripoff in U.S. history. Thievery earned Conn a mansion and luxury vacations. He left hundreds of honest people without disability money they desperately needed for medical care when the feds were forced to stop paying disability checks while sorting out Conn’s mess.
Conn slipped out of his ankle monitoring bracelet after being convicted. He slithered to Honduras and hid. Conn was handed 12 years in federal prison while on the run. The dogged feds finally tracked him down and shipped him back to the U.S. The latest charges could help earn Conn a life sentence. Read full story
Ring stuffs homes with old furniture, torches for insurance
Old homes and junky cars were kindling for Verdon Taylor, the overlord of a crime ring that lit up more than 30 arson fires to score nearly $1 million of insurance money. Buy cheap and claim big was Taylor’s burning ambition during a 16-year arson binge that lit up the Richmond, Va. area. Taylor’s rat pack bought homes and cars at auctions and foreclosure sales — all at steep discount prices. Taylor’s cohorts often rented houses as well.
The feds started investigating as the fires and claims suspiciously piled up. Taylor ordered one cohort to obstruct investigators. “Tell those people to get out of your face,” Verdon commanded. Just hang up the phone whenever federal agents call, he told his troops. Taylor will spend up to 50 years in federal prison after being convicted in October 2017. Read full story
Broke and jobless, Dad kills baby son for life insurance
Prince McCloud Rams was a beautiful little boy, barely a year old. He had shining dark eyes that danced in the light. Every child deserves a childhood. But Prince never had one. His father Joaquin Rams was nearly broke, and wanted to live the good life. Rams murdered his own son — a baby — for $550,000 of life insurance money.
His mother Hera McCloud gained permanent custody when she and Joaquin split up. Prince was visiting his father alone in Northern Virginia. Suddenly paramedics were rushed to Rams’ home. Prince was wrapped in a towel on the floor, unresponsive. He died the next day.
Suspicion immediately focused on Rams, who secretly took out three life insurance policies worth $550,000 total on Prince, investigators discovered. How strange to buy so much life coverage on a mere baby. Rams turned those life policies into a murder weapons. Read full story
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