Christmas Fire Leads to Arrest for Insurance Fraud

State insurance investigators say 47 year old Lorrie Laurel overstated the value of the home and they couldn't find any trace of 15 items supposedly destroyed by the flames. The fire gutted the lake home near Crystal Lake in December 28th.

Laurel and her husband own the home, which was occupied at the time by her brother.

The fire occurred one day before Laurels policy with Cotton States Insurance was to be cancelled.

She filed a claim for more than $435,000 in damages.

State investigators say claims for the 15 items were more than $64,000. But, they say they couldn't find any evidence of those items in the destroyed home. But they says they did find some very similar items, including a totem pole, a carved bench, and some diving gear in Laurel's Chipley home when they interviewed her.

Laurel is free after posting a $10,000 bond on the insurance fraud charge.


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