14 charged in $3M scheme to make fake Aflac injury claims through Michigan clinic

6 sentenced, 8 more charged in $3 million fraud scheme, officials say

Money. (Pixabay)

WEST BRANCH, Mich. – Officials have charged 14 people who made fake injury claims through Aflac and said they received treatment at a Michigan clinic, according to authorities.

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services opened a fraud investigation last year centered around the Ogemaw Chiropractic Clinic in West Branch, Michigan.

Officials said a group of people concocted a scheme to defraud the Aflac insurance company by submitting fake claims of injury. They would tell Aflac that they had received medical treatment at the Ogemaw Chiropractic Clinic, according to authorities.

“Fraudulent insurance claims drive up the cost of insurance for everyone, and thanks to the hard work of DIFS’ Fraud Investigation Unit and the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Office, these criminals have been ordered by the court to return the funds obtained through their fraudulent scheme,” DIFS Director Anita Fox said.

Six people have been ordered to return nearly $1.5 million in connection with the scheme. They have all been sentenced:

  • Carol Christine Smith, of Rose City, was sentenced to six months of probation and must pay fines and restitution of $203,545.
  • Amanda Nichole Hebert, of Rose City, was sentenced to six months of probation and must pay fines and restitution of $213,515.
  • Samantha Marie Petty, of West Branch, was sentenced to one day in jail, one year of probation and must pay fines and restitution of $363,900.
  • Melissa Marie Spencer, of West Branch, was sentenced to one year of probation and must pay fines and restitution of $571,496.
  • Ashley Marie Ehinger, of West Branch, was sentenced to six months of probation and must pay fines and restitution of $28,483.
  • Patricia Ann Hebert, of Rose City, was sentenced to six months of probation and must pay fines and restitution of $84,075.

In October 2021, authorities announced insurance fraud and identity theft charges against the six people above and eight others. The group submitted nearly $3 million worth of false insurance claims, according to officials.

Criminal cases involving the other eight people in the investigation are ongoing in 34th District Court, authorities said.

Anyone who suspects insurance fraud can report it online or by calling 877-999-6442.


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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.