LaPlace man linked to insurance fraud

Published 12:05 am Saturday, November 7, 2015

LAPLACE — A local man is wanted for staging a wreck for insurance money involving a moving truck, a Cadillac Escalade and his 4-year-old son.

Louisiana State Police listed 35-year-old Eric Kenner of LaPlace as a suspect at large this week as part of a sweep across the New Orleans metropolitan area netting 18 arrest warrants for suspects involved in staged or “jump-in” crashes as a means to defraud multiple insurance companies.

State Police spokesman Sgt. Nick Manale said Kenner’s investigation stemmed from a December wreck.

Authorities said the investigation revealed Kenner paid an accomplice to rent a U-Haul truck later used to intentionally crash into Kenner’s Cadillac Escalade.

“Following the staged crash, Kenner filed injury claims for himself and his 4-year-old son,” a release from State Police said. “Upon further questioning, Kenner’s accomplice, Trevor Sanders, admitted to staging the crash and was arrested in March.”

As of press time Friday morning, Kenner was still at large with a total financial exposure from the fraudulent claims at approximately $1,557.

“Insurance fraud cases like this and acts of fraudulent injury claims and property insurance claims not only affect and injure the insurance industry but also your hard-working everyday citizens, who are doing the responsible thing by insuring their property and insuring their vehicle,” Manale said.

“Our rates are affected by all these insurance claims.

“If (Kenner) is claiming injury for occupants who were not in the vehicle, including his 4-year-old son, it certainly is hurting many different industries here and your average insurance payer.”

State Police authorities said Kenner’s case follows a warrant roundup resulting from nearly a dozen independent investigations conducted by the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud/Auto Theft Unit New Orleans field office.

Detectives worked closely with investigators and representatives from numerous insurance companies including Repwest, Progressive, State Farm, Imperial Fire and Casualty and GEICO. Total financial exposure as a result of the fraudulent claims and practices is estimated to be over $165,000.