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The State of NoVa
Posted at 05:05 AM ET, 05/02/2011

When you think insurance fraud, think DANCING

There’s a lot of crime out there competing for your attention. Some crimes become trendy for a while [we know, we know about all the GPS thefts] and others are old standbys [murder]. So the folks who investigate insurance fraud at the Virginia State Police wanted a public service announcement you would remember: Dancing about insurance fraud.

Yes, dancing. And not merely some interpretive hand-waving to imply that you just set your own car on fire. Oh no, in the official “Dance Your Fraud Off” video contest launched by the state police, people who submitted two-minute films also had to include an explanation of what insurance fraud is, remind viewers to report insurance fraud to the special hotline and drop in the possibility of a reward.

Now that’s a lot more than just a snippet of “Swan Lake” and some phony paperwork.

The state police contest, open only to college students, provided a $500 first prize and an iFlip HD video camera, and $300 for second place. Which is good because only two entries were received, state police insurance fraud spokeswoman Pamela Jewell said. Both are shown here, if you ever wondered how one might dance to insurance fraud.

First, the winner from Virginia State University, a fine dramatic and explanatory work from a team at Virginia State University, consisting of Darius W. Edwards, David Rhame, Jazmin Ferguson, D’Mario Hill and Eric Morgan.

Coming in second, or last, place were Piedmont Community College students Fletcher Hultman and Mariya Prokhorenko, who do not do anything to disspell the stereotypes of white people’s dancing abilities.

The advertising budget for the contest was low, Jewell said, and it appears the word didn’t spread to colleges too well. A local college put out notice last week, after the entry deadline had passed. And you need time to conceptualize dance and fraud. The winners were chosen this past weekend.

The videos were judged by “a team of law enforcement professionals and Insurance Fraud specialists,” the rules stated. So Paula Abdul and all those other “dance” “experts” can just step OFF.

The state police got the idea to “Dance Your Fraud Off” after capturing a con woman on videotape, Jewell said. She claimed she had received a severe electrical shock after she plugged in a heater in a hardware store. She said she had lost the use of both arms, which turned out to be untrue, as evidenced by a covert tape showing her dancing.

The insurance fraud investigators, who apparently really love their dancing and their video, dramatized this episode in another YouTube video last year, which you can see here. And again, no white dancing stereotypes were refuted.

By  |  05:05 AM ET, 05/02/2011

Categories:  Crime | Tags:  Dance Your Fraud Off, Virginia

 
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