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Sacramento County Couple Convicted of Insurance Fraud

District Attorney Jan Scully announced today a jury convicted Joanne and Steven Fawcett of felony insurance fraud. Both were found guilty of making false statements regarding an insurance claim and Joanne Fawcett was also found guilty on two counts of falsifying insurance claim documents.

In April 2007, Joanne Fawcett claimed that while walking in a parking lot she was hit by a vehicle that injured her left knee. Fawcett told insurance representatives that as a result, she suffered constant “knife-like” pain, walked with a limp and would never be able to work again. Steven Fawcett confirmed his wife's claims, making numerous false statements to insurance company representatives.

An investigation produced video of Joanne Fawcett showing no signs of physical debilitation as she worked for two property management companies cleaning rental properties. The video shows her walking briskly, climbing stairs and carrying boxes of cleaning supplies with full use of her left leg.

She is also shown with a younger man moving a refrigerator without a dolly or hand truck. Staff from the property management companies testified they saw Joanne perform these physical tasks, and also that she insisted all paperwork and income be in her husband’s name.

The Department of Insurance investigation found Joanne Fawcett has filed at least 24 injury claims since the mid-1990s, costing insurance companies in excess of $450,000.

"Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime," Deputy District Attorney Sue Wilson said. "Serial offenders make their living stealing from insurance companies and everyone else ends up footing the bill."

Sentencing is scheduled for October 1, 2010 in Department 16 of the Sacramento Superior Court.

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