Michael Bernard Nelson, 26, a former Baltimore police officer has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release. His wife Tierra Spencer Nelson, 24, has been sentenced to five months in prison to be followed by five months of home detention with electronic monitoring, and a total of three years of supervised release. They must also pay restitution to State Farm Insurance of $10,765.06.
Both of them had entered into plea agreements. They had been charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The charges arose out of a scheme to create and then sell false police reports concerning thefts and accidents that never happened for the purpose of collecting fees and insurance payments.
The plea agreements state that in his position as a police officer, Michael Nelson, had access to various police forms for the purpose of reporting crimes. He also had access to the National Crime Information Center, which is a computerized index of all types of criminal justice information. It is only available to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies around the United States.
It goes on to say that from October to December 2006, Michael and Tierra Spencer Nelson (Spencer), who were married on December 15, 2006, conspired together to misuse Nelson’s police powers and created false police reports and at the same time, put the false information into the NCIC data base. Their purpose was to file false insurance claims, and solicited money from others to create the false information.
For example on October 25, 2006, Spencer called the Baltimore City Police Department and made a false report stating the Nelson’s personal vehicle was stolen. In reality, she had asked a friend to hide the car so that the police could not find it. Nelson entered the false report into the NCIC database, reported the fake theft to the State Farm Insurance Company and they sent him, in the form of checks and wires, a total of $10,765.06 to pay off the claim
Then sometime before November 16, 2006, Spencer told someone who she did not know was a confidential informant (CI) that they were selling false police reports that they could use to get money from insurance companies, just like they had done. Nelson did in fact prepare two false reports, of a home burglary and stated items stolen that amounted to $9,775. And a third one was for a fake car accident claim with equally fake injuries. The CI paid the Nelson Spencer team $850 for the three reports
Then on December 27, 2006, Nelson and Spencer met once more with the CI. They promised to store a car for the CI’s purported cousin so that the cousin could pull the same insurance fraud. The CI paid Nelson and Spencer $725 to store the car and for a false police report. The car was really owned by the Baltimore City Police Department. It had a value of $11,575. They were able to recover the car from an alley where it was hidden
Sousrce; FBI http://baltimore.fbi.gov/