The Washington Post

Dead? No. Arrested and charged with faking it for insurance claim

Jamie Dwayne Long, 38, of Lunenberg, was arrested Thursday, which is notable mainly because he had gone to some trouble to appear officially dead, at least as federal prosecutors tell it.

Long faces three counts of mail fraud for allegedly ordering and receiving a notary embossing stamp and scheming to receive paperwork in an attempt to collect on his roughly $774,000 life insurance policy while he was still alive, according to an indictment announced Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Virginia in Alexandria.

Long took out the policy in 2001, prosecutors said, but began calling about its current value in the summer of 2010. The policy listed his wife as a beneficiary. She is not named in the charges released Friday.

Prosecutors say that in August 2010, someone who identified himself as a relative of Long’s reported him dead to the insurance company and asked that benefits be sent to Long’s supposed widow, according to the indictment. The caller gave Long’s telephone number as the contact and in announcing the charges, the U.S. Attorney’s office asserts the caller was Long.

To pay out, the insurance company needed certain notarized statements and a certified death certificate, prosecutors say.

The indictment says that Long opened a post office box where the claims paperwork was sent, and placed an online order through a rubber stamp maker for an embosser that was delivered to Long in Lunenberg, about 70 miles southwest of Richmond.

The stamp was in the name of a local notary public who did not know her name had been used, the indictment states.

Long is released on bond.

His attorney in Richmond was not immediately available to answer requests for comment Friday. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said that further information, including whether the claim was paid out, was not immediately available because it was not currently part of the public record in the case.

Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

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