February 9, 2007
Virginia State Police (VSP) Senior Special Agent William “Bill” Whitt was recognized recently by the Federal Law Enforcement Officer’s Association (FLEOA) for his efforts in bringing down a multi-state, million dollar insurance fraud operation that involved arson and prescription fraud.
The Honorable Mention Group Achievement Award for a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Arson Case was presented to Whitt by FLEOA National President Art Gordon and DC Chapter President Rasheed Tajir. Whitt has been a special agent with the VSP Insurance Fraud Program since it began in 1999. He has more than 30 years with the VSP, including 14 years he worked in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Other recipients of the group achievement award were ATF Special Agent/Certified Fire Investigator Jennifer Clarke, Lieutenant Fred Rouse with the Lee County, Va., Sheriff’s Office, and Sergeant Mark Nash with the Bristol, Va., Fire Department. Nash is also an ATF Task Force Officer/K-9 handler.
The federal investigation for which they received recognition involved the Scott family in Lee County. For at least 25 years, the Scott family ran a variety of insurance fraud schemes, but a prescription fraud investigation at three pharmacies in rural Lee County, Va. sparked a two-year investigation that ended the criminal lifestyle of this Southwest Virginia family.
The investigation into the prescription fraud in Virginia led to an arson case in Kentucky. As potential suspects and witness involved with the prescription fraud and arson were interviewed, numerous allegations of insurance fraud, medical fraud, prescription fraud, financial institution fraud, as well as arson, firearm violations and narcotic distribution began to surface.
The investigation ultimately centered on the Scott family from Ewing Va., who led tent-based evangelical services for approximately 30 years. The investigative team of Whitt, Clarke, Rouse and Nash proved the family members were responsible for nearly 100 multi-state crimes that included insurance fraud, identity theft, credit card and bank fraud, narcotics distribution and arson and firearms violations.
Fourteen individuals were ultimately arrested and convicted for crimes ranging from arson to mail and wire fraud to prescription fraud, Medicaid fraud, and breaking and entering. The U.S District Court ordered the crooks to pay more than $300,000 in restitution to the defrauded insurance companies and serve prison sentences ranging from 10 to 175 months.
The FLEOA is the largest nonpartisan, professional association that represents exclusively more than 24,000 federal agents from over 50 different federal law enforcement agencies.
The VSP is committed to stamping out fraud in Virginia. If citizens or businesses have knowledge of a fraudulent insurance scheme or suspect they may have been the victim of insurance fraud, they are encouraged to report the activity on the toll-free hotline at 1-877-62FRAUD (1-877-623-7283) or at www.StampOutFraud.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and a reward of up to $25,000 is available for tips leading to an arrest for the crime of insurance fraud.