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Bob Leonard wanted to collect $300,000 in insurance cash so he opened up a gas line in his house and wound up charring much of his tree-lined neighborhood in Indianapolis.
In 2016 he was sentenced to life in prison without parole, and made it into the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud’s 2016 Hall of Shame.
The Washington-based anti-fraud coalition released its annual list Wednesday, with Mr. Leonard’s infamous scheme at the top. The annual list typically includes every kind of fraud: car insurance, workers compensation, Medicare, life, to name a few.
“Insurance fraud steals $80 billion a year — raising premiums for honest Americans,” reads an introduction to the latest inductees. “The extreme schemers’ reign of error shows why.”
Also making the Hall of Shame list for 2016 are Michael Danilovich, a New York man who staged hundreds of car crashes and filed upward of $279 million of whiplash insurance claims; and John Alonzo Smiley, a California prison guard who sought to collect $4 million in workers compensation after claiming he was shot by a former prisoner outside of a San Francisco restaurant, when really he was shot in a sex-partner trade gone awry outside of a sex club.
Travelers Insurance Co. remains on the hook for $300,000 worth of damages in a 2012 apartment complex fire in Holland, Michigan, caused by squirrel dinner preparations.