8 extreme cases of insurance fraud
Waiter, there's a mouse in my soup!
Carla Patterson tried to tap a Virginia Cracker Barrel restaurant for a $500,000 insurance settlement after discovering a mouse in her vegetable soup. But the national chain investigated and found that the mouse had no soup in its lungs and had not been cooked. Patterson was sentenced to a year in prison.
"That's one form of extortion. Swindlers will target restaurants to make a quick windfall in the belief that the eatery doesn't want the negative publicity and will quietly pay the claim on the theory that the claimant isn't going to go to the media," Quiggle says.
What con artists don't know is that chain restaurants are wise to the risk of fake tainted-food claims and have tightened their food production procedures to combat such claims.
"If you claim that you found a worm in your soft drink, the company can go right back to its production procedures and determine with certainty that a worm never could have gotten into that drink," he says. "They go to great lengths to examine the claim to see if it's valid or not."