Anchorage Husband and Wife Convicted of Wire Fraud for Faking Burglary
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a jury in Anchorage found Arnold Wesley Flowers, II, and his wife, Miranda May Flowers, guilty of 12 counts of wire fraud as part of their scheme to defraud State Farm Insurance.
Arnold Wesley Flowers, II, age 41, and Miranda May Flowers, age 31, both of Anchorage, were tried before U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason. Both Mr. and Mrs. Flowers were convicted of all 12 charged counts of wire fraud.
The evidence established that on the night of January 17, 2016, the Flowers moved several items from their home into a storage unit located at Best Storage on Tudor Road in Anchorage. These items included several big screen television sets, jewelry, clothing, shoes, designer handbags and sunglasses, video games, computers, and other electronics. On January 18-19, the Flowers staged a burglary at their home on Larkspur Circle and claimed in their report to the Anchorage Police that the items they previously put in storage had been stolen in a burglary of their home. The Flowers held a renter's insurance policy with State Farm Insurance. On January 25, the Flowers contacted State Farm Insurance and made a formal claim for reimbursement of the replacement cost of the items they had hidden in the storage unit on January 17, and that they claimed had been stolen on January 18-19.
The Flowers valued the falsely stolen or intentionally damaged property at over $82,000. The Flowers communicated this claim for loss to State Farm Insurance through multiple telephone calls and emails that originated in Alaska and were sent to claim investigators located at State Farm Insurance offices in the Lower 48 states and Hawaii.
Mr. Flowers was recently found guilty of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and felon in possession of firearms, by another jury on October 19, 2016, in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, Alaska.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Cavanaugh and Assistant U.S. Attorney James Barkeley prosecuted the case for the United States. The State of Alaska Division of Insurance also dedicated an investigator to both the investigation and trial. Director Lori Wing-Heier of the State of Alaska Division of Insurance said: “This case demonstrates the Alaska Division of Insurance and its fraud investigation partners are dedicated to protecting Alaska consumers and investigating fraudulent activities.”
Ms. Loeffler commends the Anchorage Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, and the State of Alaska Division of Insurance for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution and conviction of Mr. and Mrs. Flowers. These agencies were also assisted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division.