U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Northern District of Texas
Northern District of Texas
For Immediate Release
November 18, 2011
Sarah R. Saldaña, United States Attorney
Contact: Kathy Colvin
North Texas Men Receive Lengthy Federal Prison Sentences for Role in Insurance Fraude Case Involving Arson
DALLAS – Blaise Hancock, of Arlington, Texas, and Clint Allen, of Lewisville, Texas, were sentenced this morning by Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to 79 months and 51 months in federal prison, respectively, for conspiring to fraudulently obtain insurance money by filing a claim for insurance proceeds on a house fire that Allen had deliberately set in Dallas. In addition, they were ordered to pay, jointly and severally, nearly $300,000 in restitution and Allen was ordered to forfeit nearly $250,000. Judge Fitzwater ordered that they surrender the Bureau of Prisons on January 3, 2012. Today's announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Both Hancock and Allen pleaded guilty in August 2011, just days before their trial was to begin, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. According to plea documents filed in the case, friends Hancock, 43, and Allen, 50, conspired together to fraudulently obtain money from an insurance company by filing a claim for the insurance proceeds from a house fire that Allen deliberately set at 1402 Rowan Avenue in Dallas. Hancock purchased the residence on July 1, 2007, using $50,000 that Allen had given him to use to purchase the residence. On July 19, 2007, Hancock obtained insurance from SAFECO Insurance Company in the amount of $811,000 for the dwelling, $86,100 for other structures, $516,600 for personal property and $172,200 for additional living expenses.
On December 2, 2007, Allen damaged and destroyed, by fire, the dwelling at 1402 Rowan Avenue and its contents. To establish an alibi, prior to the fire Allen sent his cell phone to his father in Pineville, Louisiana and caused a person to check into a motel in Pineville using Allen's name and credit card.
On December 1, 2007, Hancock went to San Antonio, Texas, to establish an alibi, and returned on December 3, 2007, the day after the fire. That day, Hancock called SAFECO to report the fire.
In the following months, Hancock and Allen submitted to SAFECO various fraudulent claims, including receipts, inventory, a sworn statement for proof of loss and a proof of loss form in the amount of nearly $1.2 million. To help facilitate the fraud, Allen even created a company, Restoration Services, and submitted nearly $9,000 in invoices to SAFECO from Restoration Services in support of their claim.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Dallas Fire Rescue. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phelesa Guy and Stephen Fahey prosecuted.