An insurance claims agent and a Springfield woman have been arrested on embezzlement charges in connection with an alleged scheme to submit false claims totaling more than $102,000, Fairfax County police said yesterday.
The claims agent was identified by police as James L. Cobb, 28, of 9265 Bailey Lane in Fairfax County. Cobb, an employe of the United Services Automobile Association, was being held yesterday in the county Adult Detention Center in lieu of $85,000 bond.
Police identified the woman as Patricia Ann May, 36, of 8409 Cedar Falls Ct. in Springfield.
Bond had not been set late yesterday for May, a hair stylist.
Police said that between 1979 and 1981, while working as a claims agent for Allstate Insurance on Arlington Boulevard, Cobb allegedly encouraged several policyholders, including May, to initiate fictitious claims for burglaries, fires and flooding.
Using his authority as a claims agent, police said, Cobb allegedly issued checks to the policyholders in settlement of the false claims and then received a 50 percent kickback when the policyholder cashed the check.
In one case, police alleged, Cobb reported a fictitious burglary at his own home to Aetna Life and Casualty.
Police began their investigation into Cobb's dealings after an investigator for one of the companies found that "there was a pattern of payments for nonexistent events, events like burglaries that had never been reported to the police," said county police spokesman Warren Carmichael.
Police said Cobb also has been charged in Fairfax City in the alleged embezzlement of $10,600 in connection with a fictitious fire in Mosby Woods in September 1980.
County police said May faces a single embezzlement count stemming from an allegedly false flooding claim.. Cobb is charged in four embezzlement counts, according to authorities.