Monroe woman sentenced to 12 months in connection with scheme to defraud insurance company
MONROE, La. – Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that a Monroe woman was sentenced Thursday to 12 months and one day in prison for mail fraud for a scheme wherein she lied on U.S. Bankruptcy Court filings and insurance documents.
Lasandra Laverne Edwards, 54, of Monroe, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. on one count of mail fraud. She was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and must pay $9,126.70 in restitution. According to the February 13, 2017 guilty plea, Edwards filed for bankruptcy in October 2013 and valued her furniture and clothing at $1,000. In November of 2013, Edwards purchased a renters’ policy that valued her assets at $100,000. Edwards’ house caught fire and burned on December 1, 2013. The defendant attended a creditors’ hearing associated with her bankruptcy case on December 10, 2013. She reaffirmed the information in the previous filings that her furniture and clothing were valued at $1,000. However, the next day on December 11, 2013, Edwards filed a claim under her insurance policy with State Farm falsely stating that her personal property was valued at $116,063.
The U.S. Trustee’s Office – Region V, Louisiana State Police and Monroe Fire Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cytheria D. Jernigan and Tennille M. Gilreath prosecuted the case.