Georgia Man Indicted in Insurance Fraud Scheme
TYLER, Texas – A 34-year-old Atlanta, GA, man has been indicted for his role in an insurance fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Daniel Driver was named in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Feb. 20, 2019, charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to the indictment, Theodore Robert Wright III, 33, formerly of Kemah, Texas, led a multi-jurisdictional fraud and arson scheme that spanned from Hawaii to Texas and involved the destruction of various assets, including aircraft and vessels. Wright and his co-conspirators, Raymond Fosdick, 42, of Houston, Edward Delima, 42, of Honolulu, and Driver acquired assets and obtained insurance coverage for the acquired assets in amounts exceeding their purchase prices. Wright and his co-conspirators then devised and carried out schemes to destroy the assets and fraudulently obtain payouts from insurance companies.
The various assets involved the scheme included a 1971 Cessna 500, a 1998 Hunter Passage, and a 1987 West Coast 87. The Cessna 500 was completely destroyed when Fosdick set it on fire at Wright’s direction at an airport in Athens, Texas. The Hunter Passage sank in a marina in Hawaii. The West Coast 87 was intentionally sunk in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 30 miles off the coast of Washington. Driver and another individual were rescued from the sinking vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard. The vessel was not recovered. Fraudulent insurance claims were filed in relation to each of these incidents.
On May 17, 2017, Wright, Fosdick, and Delima were charged with various offenses related to the scheme. On Sep. 26, 2017, Delima pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and was later sentenced to a five-year term of probation. On Oct. 12, 2017, Fosdick pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and conspiring to commit arson and was later sentenced to 39 months in federal prison. On Oct. 25, 2017, Wright pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and conspiring to commit arson and was later sentenced to 65 months in federal prison.
If convicted, Driver faces up to 20 years in federal prison. A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld and L. Frank Coan, Jr.