News and Press Releases

MAN WHO FAKED AMPUTATION TO GET INSURANCE PAYOUT SENTENCED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2011

MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced that Michael Earl LeDuc, age 33, a resident of Escanaba, Michigan, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison as a result of his guilty plea to a charge of wire fraud. U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar, who conducted the sentencing hearing in Marquette, also sentenced LeDuc to 3 years of federal supervised release after his prison term is complete.

LeDuc was apprehended following an investigation by the FBI, Michigan State Police, and the Escanaba Department of Public Safety. Their investigation revealed that LeDuc had obtained an accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy from CUNA Mutual Group in 2009. Then, in August 2010, he filed an insurance claim in which he claimed that he his arm had been ground off in a wood chipper accident. LeDuc would have received a benefit payment of $251,000 if he had, in fact, lost his arm in this manner. But, in truth, LeDuc still had both arms. A CUNA claims investigator asked Mr. LeDuc to provide medical records to support his claim. LeDuc then obtained his own medical records from OSF Saint Francis Hospital in Escanaba, and, using these records as a starting point, forged records that stated that his arm had been lost in a wood chipper. He sent these fraudulent documents in to CUNA and also made a number of telephone calls across interstate lines to check on the status of his claim. This led to the federal wire fraud charge.

In the process of investigation the fraud on CUNA, investigators also discovered that Mr. LeDuc had committed a number of other frauds at about the time that he was filing his fraudulent amputation claim. In his plea agreement, he admitted to

• filing a false insurance claim with the Standard Insurance Company of Portland, OR, in which he claimed to have suffered a serious head injury;

• filing a number of false insurance claims with the American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (AFLAC);

• selling an ATV on Ebay for $1,500, and then keeping the money, but not delivering the ATV; and

• buying gasoline for his gas station from (1) Oasis Fuel, (2) Servco FS, (3) Garrow Oil Propane, and (4) Murphy Oil Company using bounced checks, forged letters of credit, and a variety of fraudulent statements.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Edgar commented on LeDuc’s substantial criminal history, finding that Mr. LeDuc fell into the highest criminal history classification available under the federal sentencing guidelines. Judge Edgar imposed a sentence at the high end of the sentencing guidelines range because he found that LeDuc posed a danger to the public.

In the plea agreement, LeDuc agreed to pay full restitution for the losses he caused in
committing these crimes.

Mr. LeDuc was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maarten Vermaat.


END

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