Portland woman enters plea in insurance fraud case

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A Portland woman has pled guilty after filing more than $135,000 in false insurance claims.

An investigation conducted earlier this year by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Fraud Investigation Unit (FIU) charged 48-year-old Christel Lanz with the following:

  • 27 counts of uttering and publishing falsified documents;
  • 4 counts of false pretenses ($50,000 to $100,000); and
  • 4 counts of falsified tax-related forms.

Lanz was arraigned in Lansing District Court 54-A.

The claims were submitted for Lanz and her family members between March 2015 and May 2018. The claims were for injuries that never happened. The health insurer referred the case to DIFS FIU in June 2020.

On Sept. 7, Lanz appeared before Judge Clinton Canady III in 30th Circuit Court to plead guilty to:

  • 1 count of filing false pretenses ($1,000 to $20,000)
  • 1 count of filing false pretenses ($20,000 to $50,000)
  • 2 counts of filing false pretenses ($50,000 to $100,000)
  • 1 count of falsifying tax documents

Due to the plea agreement, all other charges against Lanz were dismissed.

The FIU was established to combat insurance fraud like that committed by Ms. Lanz, and I’m proud of the work our team does every day to protect residents of this state. Many of these cases begin with a referral from concerned residents or insurers that notice something doesn’t seem quite right. Every Michigander can support DIFS in fighting this type of fraud, which leads to higher premiums for all of us, by reporting suspected insurance fraud online at Michigan.gov/ReportFraud2DIFS or by calling 877-999-6442.”

Director Anita Fox

Sentencing is set for Nov. 3 at 10:00 a.m.

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