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Featured Fraud: With This Ring, I Thee Scam


Man Pawns Sparkler But Claims It ‘Fell Down the Drain’

When Randy Ekmerck proposed to his girlfriend, the future she envisioned likely didn’t involve insurance fraud, followed by a lengthy separation. Ekmerck’s betrothed also may not have realized that the symbol of his fidelity—an engagement ring—would eventually be used as an instrument for deceit.

But that’s exactly what happened when the Pembroke, N.H. man told his insurance company the sparkler had been lost, filed a claim, and then traded the diamond ring in question for quick cash.

On Dec. 13, 2011, Ekmerck took out a policy for the ring with State Farm Insurance, only to file a claim on it the next month. Although he relayed a semi-plausible story—that the ring fell in a running kitchen disposal—Ekmerck failed to cooperate with the company’s investigation. State Farm then took action, denying the claim and notifying the state’s insurance fraud unit.

The investigation confirmed Ekmerck had pawned the ring, which was eventually recovered at Atlantic Traders in Chichester, N.H.

As part of a negotiated plea arrangement, Ekmerck pleaded guilty to the Class B felony of insurance fraud. On Sept. 26, 2012, the court sentenced him to serve a year in the county jail and pay a $2,000 fine, both of which will be suspended pending a year of good behavior. Additionally, the clumsy suitor will be on probation for 1 year and must submit to an evaluation from a licensed alcohol and drug addiction counselor.


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