July 19, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that an insurance fraud ringleader pleaded guilty for his part in two staged car accidents. DeMarkus Marquel Daijhon Lane, 23, of Sumter, pleaded guilty in Sumter on July 15th in front of Judge Kristi Curtis. He pleaded guilty to two counts of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Greater than $10,000.
The cases stemmed from a large Sumter County insurance fraud ring investigation involving multiple staged accidents, hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of forged or altered medical bills, and the use of false identities. After noticing the locations of the accidents and the parties involved being from previous fraudulent claims, the claims involving Lane were flagged as suspicious by the insurance companies and referred to SLED for investigation. SLED interviewed the parties to the claims and many of them confessed to the accidents being staged and the bills submitted to the insurance companies being altered. The investigation resulted in the arrests of dozens of people.
Lane was identified as one of four ringleaders during SLED’s investigation. While Lane was not normally involved as an occupant in the vehicles, he would set up accidents, alter or forge bills, assist and instruct others with filing fraudulent claims, and receive cuts of the insurance payouts. The first of the two incidents to which he pleaded guilty occurred on December 21, 2016. Law enforcement responded to a two-vehicle collision at Plowden Mill Road and Boulevard Road in Sumter County. Investigation revealed six people reported injuries and filed insurance claims that included altered medical bills. Lane assisted with the filing of three fraudulent claims for the occupants of one of the cars. Over $85,000 in claims were made, almost all of which was paid out. After SLED’s investigation into the accident was completed, a total of eight defendants were arrested for participating in the staging of this accident and filing fraudulent claims.
The second of the two incidents to which Lane pleaded guilty occurred on March 6, 2017. Law enforcement vehicles responded to a two-car crash at Bagnal and Oswego Roads in Sumter County. Investigation revealed five people reported injuries and filed insurance claims that included altered medical bills. Lane provided the medical bills for two of the claimants. After SLED completed its investigation into this particular accident, a total of six people were arrested for their involvement in staging the accident and filing fraudulent claims. Over $95,000 was paid out on this particular claim.
After hearing about these two incidents and Lane’s involvement in other accidents, Judge Curtis sentenced Lane to five years in prison and suspended this sentence to five years of probation. A special condition of probation is for Lane and co-defendants to pay $234,725.45 in restitution for the fraudulent claims. This is one of our largest amounts of restitution ordered.