Financial CrimesInsurance Fraud
Maria Patterson started her legal career in 1997 as an insurance defense attorney.
Maria worked with several former Assistant State’s Attorneys and handled numerous insurance defense cases involving allegations of fraud. Many of these cases were sent to her by the fraud divisions (special investigation units) of the major insurance companies. One case involved a known drug lord who was making fraudulent insurance claims to help finance his drug business. The FBI was involved, along the insurance company’s surveillance team.
Maria later defended a case involving a D.C. man believed to have set his car on fire to collect the insurance proceeds. At trial, Maria Patterson called arson and key expert witnesses to prove that the D.C. man’s only key was the last key to start his car and that an accelerant was used to quickly spread the fire. She also demonstrated that the car’s lack of oil had caused significant engine damage, rendering the car almost useless, which was the motive for collecting insurance proceeds.
Other claims involve valuable property or merchandise left in unlocked cars or cars that are allegedly broken into. There can be a pattern of comprehensive claims that are red flags to insurance companies. In fact, a person with a history of numerous insurance claims can be a red flag to insurance companies, whether or not they are legitimate and lawful claims. Often, people who live in high crime areas can be repeat victims to theft and vandalism. It is important to have a lawyer who is fully aware of these factors and intimately familiar with the insurance industry.