An essential part of home ownership is home maintenance; keeping the home and property maintained and calling for repairs or services when needed. The last thing that you would expect when you call for those services is to be walked through the process of committing insurance fraud. Unfortunately that is just what a Phoenix woman got.
In July of 2013 the customer, who asked to remain anonymous, called Richard Sparta of APEX Carpet Cleaning to treat some moldy carpet. Instead of simply supplying the services that he was asked to, Sparta explained to her in great detail how she could get more money from her insurance company to pay for the damage. This included bringing in a Persian rug, offering to damage it and then blame it on the mold to get her thousands more from her insurance company as well as telling her to leave the property while he broke a water pipe.
Unfortunately for Sparta, the customer’s son recorded the entire exchange on his cell phone and the video was turned over to the Phoenix Police Department. When he returned to the home a few days later he was arrested by the fraud unit and subsequently charged with conspiracy to commit fraud schemes and insurance fraud. He ultimately accepted a plea deal and his 3 felony charges were downgraded to a misdemeanor, to which he pleaded guilty. His sentence—6 months probation.
It’s not surprising that many, the customer included, feel that he got off easy, just a slap on the wrist for a rather serious charge. The detail and lengths that he was willing to go indicate this was probably not his first attempt at committing insurance fraud. The state’s attorney general’s office, however, declined to comment on the case. Hopefully this was just a one -time thing and he will amend his ways; although it has been said that the best predictor of future action is past action and the penalty is likely to be much more severe.
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