Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Walmart’s “Restorative Justice” Endangers Public Without Reducing Crime

Walmart has had an enormous crime problem going back decades.

This isn't new; however last August there was a massive surge in reporting on this crime problem in the mainstream press. Prior to that there have been numerous reports from alternative media outlets that have reported on the major crime problems or a handful of isolated reports from traditional media outlets that usually only report about a small fraction of the problem at local levels.

Instead of recognizing the root causes of crime and preventing them, even when it is very simple, they’ve come up with something they call “Restorative Justice” which seems to mean that when they catch a thief instead of calling the police they threaten them into signing on for an on line course that costs them four hundred dollars or five hundred if they can’t pay up front. According to one source, listed below, instead of paying a private corporation to handle their program “CEC (Corrective Education Co.) pays them for each participant who signs up,” which seems to imply that they’re trying to turn their crime problem into a profit opportunity, instead of something that should be reduced in the most effective way possible.

When it comes to reducing crime it doesn't help to worship the God of economic growth like economists, politicians, and media pundits seem to do.

For profit prisons and other so-called crime reduction institutions, including this one, have an obvious conflict of interest since they increase profits when business grows providing them with an incentive to misrepresent their progress, especially if there isn't full disclosure.

Privatization of the Justice System is happening with minimum of scrutiny from the majority of the public and the corporations involved donate a lot to campaigns and, in some cases like Walmart, buy an enormous amount of ads giving both the media and the political establishment a motive to look the other way, which they do when alternative media outlets don't expose it.

In the case of Walmart they had at least one hundred and four shootings last year, which thanks to a surge in shootings during the holidays broke a record. There were at least an additional forty-two in the first four months of this year and eight so far this month. This clearly implies we're on the way to breaking the new record this year!

If as they claim shoplifting reports are down as a result of this Restorative Justice program it clearly isn't helping more violent crime and a more thorough review of arson stabbings carjackings and other violent crime will almost certainly show they're rising as well.

(Making Change at Walmart is asking If you or someone you know has gone through @Walmart's "Restorative Justice" program for first-time suspected shoplifters, send us a DM. 03/30/2017 to ensure that it isn’t doing more harm than good.)

As I reported in a previous article about Wal-Mart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices? there have been at least two statistical studies showing that Walmart has worse crime than other stores, even Big-Box stores. Walmart has refuted the accuracy of both these studies and denied any responsibility for any of their crime problems. As my previous article indicates their denials have little or no credibility and they refuse to acknowledge some of the most obvious causes of their crime problems including oppressive working conditions.

That article pointed out a dozen cases where employees were involved in shootings hostage situations, fist fights, bomb threats and many other conflicts that are often directly related to oppressive working conditions; one of the most obvious examples was a worker in Reno Nevada who shot three of the managers and told the police it was directly related to oppressive working conditions. The same store had another employee a year later threatened to blow the place up and shoot the boss. In many other cases there may be other connections that aren’t quite as clear or aren't reported in the media. 

There are also many similar problems with disgruntled customers that are outraged at the low quality of service, or misleading promises from advertisements or Black Friday shopping promotions. Looking through enough Walmart crime reports it is clear that many of the activities that lead to their high crime problems are easy to recognize, if they want to recognize them.

Where's the “Restorative Justice” for disgruntled workers that are subject to oppressive union busting tactics or for customers that are fed up with deceptive advertisements or poor service?

When many of these people organize Walmart is extremely slow in addressing legitimate concerns and, instead of acting impartially, the government routinely uses tax payer money to suppress protests at Walmart.

Last night before I finished this article there was a terrorist attack in Britain at an Ariana Grande concert and the calls demanding that everyone, or at least all high profile pundits and politicians, condemn these brutal attacks have been repeated over and over already, as they often are after attacks like this; so I condemn those attacks!

However these same demands for universal condemnation typically don’t come for wars based on lies like the Iraq invasion, nor do they include demands for the prosecution of those responsible for wars based on lies; and the Muslims know that these universal condemnations are extremely one sided, which might be part of the reason for additional terrorist attacks since then.

There are similar condemnations for poor people committing violent acts or even shoplifting; however these universal condemnations don’t apply to those in political power that distort the research so that the most effective solutions to violent crime or terrorism aren’t implemented.

Therefore in addition to condemning the terrorist attacks I also condemn extremely one sided demands for universal condemnation, without acknowledging the contributions that the most powerful have provided in inciting both the terrorist attacks and violent crime by people with little or no resources or access to education or economic opportunity!

One of the biggest problems they have is of course with shoplifting. It isn’t hard to recognize that their store design and lack of employees to watch the merchandise is a major contributing cause to this as well. Thirty years ago almost all groceries stores or department stores were much smaller and customers had to go through the exit door right in front of the service department or some workers that would easily see if they were taking our enormous volumes of shoplifted items. Now the store design is different for many Big-Box Stores and it is hard if not impossible for workers to keep track of where anyone is, even with cameras everywhere.

Surprise, surprise, dozens if not hundreds of people are walking out with entire shopping carts full of merchandise. Sometimes they go back over and over again until they get caught.

I am not making this up hardly a month goes by without at least a few if not half a dozen or more showing up and that adds up quickly. There's no way of knowing how many there are that didn't get noticed. 

They also have an enormous problem with self-check-out lanes that were intended to save money. They already knew that they were having large crime problems before they installed this on a massive scale. Surprise, surprise, there’s an enormous amount of crime at the self-check-out lanes including theft and angry customers because they have one problem after another with the checking out and there are often few people to help them when these problems happen. At times Walmart responds to this by watching people on camera and may have spent as much money as they allegedly save by trying to catch thieves in the act. If they report this to the police then taxpayers pick up an enormous amount of the tab for what should be considered institutional entrapment.

The majority of the public has no way of knowing how much crime is increasing at the self-check-out lanes; however Walmart almost certainly has those records. Walmart has a history of keeping this information secret and it may be protected by proprietary information laws which means that people that have access to this information would be banned by law from showing it to the public if it shows that they’re increasing profits by endangering customers or increasing police costs dealing with their crime problems. If that is the case and they keep it secret it wouldn’t be the first time; “The High cost Of Low Prices” disclosed that they once suppressed an internal study that showed they could increase safety by having a security guard patrol the parking lot so they could avoid hiring one saving money without a public relations disaster, until it was leaked.

These are just a few of the most obvious causes of their high crime problem and they’re simply not hard to recognize or confirm.

The obvious thing to do might seem to recognize the root causes of crime and prevent them by reversing cuts to save on employees having them handle registers as they used to, design stores so that thieves can’t walk out with entire shopping carts full over and over again and stop oppressing their own workers and misleading customers that are so angry.

Does Walmart do this? Of course not; they’re in total denial and for one reason or another so is the majority of the political establishment and the media that refuses to report on the obvious.

Anyone that reports on these obvious solutions is often treated as fringe and can’t get any attention from the traditional media establishment.

We’re just a bunch or Conspiracy Theorists so perhaps you shouldn’t pay attention to us, unless of course the evidence is overwhelming, which it is, although it is rarely reported in the traditional press which collects enormous amounts of money from Walmart and other Big-Box stores in ads or by politicians who collect enormous amounts of campaign contributions from Walmart or other large corporations.

Actually an enormous amount of the evidence to Walmart's crime problems doesn't fit the strictest definition of conspiracy at all, since it isn't completely secret. However it is often only reported at local news media outlets or researched by alternative media outlets. The mass media rarely reports on the biggest problems caused by their advertisers, including Wal-Mart or oil and insurance companies.

Besides it’s not just conspiracy theorists that have researched this problem there are still some good reporters and sociologists around that manage to get enough funds for research that doesn’t cater overwhelmingly to corporate interests, including Stacy Mitchell who reported on work from several sociologists and indicated in the following excerpt that went to press before Walmart’s crime problem got so bad that even the traditional media felt they had to report on it for a little while. The following excerpts went to press in 2006 and could have been used to recognize and reverse their crime problem, if Walmart or the political establishment were willing to listen:

"Big-Box Swindle" by Stacy Mitchell

Police expenses are another factor. This is partly because, as traffic increases, officers must spend more time patrolling roads, issuing traffic citations, and responding to accidents. But some big-box stores also generate an exceptionally large volume of police calls for crimes like shoplifting and check fraud. Many cities are unprepared for this. In Royal Palm Beach, Florida, the arrival of Home Depot, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, and other chains along a state highway resulted in fifteen hundred additional police calls each year, forcing the town to hire more officers and build a new police station near the retail strip. In East Lampeter, Pennsylvania, district justice Ronald Savage had to add two more days to his monthly court calendar just to deal with crimes at the local Wal-Mart, which accounts for nearly one third of the area’s non-traffic criminal violations, criminal misdemeanors, and felony complaints. Since the mid-1990s, the small town of Pineville, North Carolina, has attracted some 6 million square feet of new retail, including a major shopping mall, big-box stores, chain restaurants, and gas stations. The mayor expected the stores to be a financial boon, but they are costing the town a fortune in police time. Pineville finally had to raise its property tax rates in 2002. Big cities are also reporting problems. When Wal-Mart proposed building another superstore in Dallas, the police department sent a memo to the city council warning that the store would increase officers’ workload and result in longer response times in the surrounding neighborhoods.65

Why does a superstore generate so many more police calls than a downtown? The answer lies partly in strict chain store policies that mandate prosecuting bad checks and suspected shoplifting violations to the fullest extent of the law. While a downtown merchant who catches someone trying to walk out with an inexpensive item might let him or her go with a warning never to come back, at a big chain the police are automatically brought in. A stolen item with a price tag of three dollars can end up costing the city hours of police time in responding to the call, filling out paperwork, and appearing in court. Big-box stores, especially those that are open twenty-four hours and situated along a highway, also seem to be more attractive targets for criminals. Perhaps it is the anonymity afforded by the long aisles of some faceless superstore, as opposed to the more intimate environment of a place like Joe’s Hardware, where Joe himself is greeting you from behind the counter. .....

Today it is hard to imagine Congress or any federal agency even considering the question of whether big corporations might affect democracy and community well-being. Fortunately, a handful of sociologists are. They have rediscovered Goldschmidt and Mills and Ulmer, and picked up where this earlier research left off. Their findings are equally as provocative. After a colleague gave him a copy of the Mills and Ulmer study, Dr. Thomas Lyson of Cornell University started designing large-scale statistical studies that would test the relationship between small businesses and social welfare. In one analysis, he examined more than two hundred manufacturing counties nationwide and compared those dominated by one or more large factories with those home to many small firms. He found that the big-business counties had greater income inequality, lower housing standards, more low-birth-weight babies (an indicator of overall health), more worker disability, lower educational outcomes, and higher crime rates. The small business counties not only scored better on all of these social welfare measures, but their residents belonged to more civic organizations and voted more often.5 ....

In 2005 Tolbert, chair of Baylor’s sociology department, began to analyze the civic and social value of locally owned retail businesses in particular. He found that states in which a larger share of the retail activity is captured by locally owned businesses rank higher on a wide range of social, economic, and civic measures. Poverty, crime, and infant mortality are all lower in local-retail states than in those with a greater share of chain stores. ....

5. Lyson, “Big Business and Community Welfare.” In another study, Lyson looked at more than four hundred agricultural counties and likewise found that those with many small farms had a larger independent middle class and less crime, poverty, unemployment, and low-birth-weight babies. T. A. Lyson, R. J. Torres, and R. Welsh, “Scale of Agricultural Production, Civic Engagement, and Community Welfare,” Social Forces 80, no. 1 (2001): 311–27. "Big-Box Swindle" by Stacy Mitchell p. 67, 76-7

Al Norman has also been reporting on their crime problems for years including his article, Surfing Wal-Mart’s Crime Wave 05/14/2016 Unfortunately neither Walmart or the political establishment is willing to listen to researchers that look into the subject with the safety of the public in mind instead of way to maximize profits for large corporations. these private security firms are often involved in many lawsuits that also only get reported relatively briefly like the following article from the same corporation that contracts with Walmart although this incident took place at Goodwill Industries:

Wait a minute Goodwill Industries the charity contracting with a for profit company like this? Well, Google "Goodwill Industries store lawsuit," apparently they're not nearly as good as many us wanted to believe, this is just one of many problems for them as well but here's the article:

Firm that teaches 'life skills' to suspected shoplifters extorts them, suit alleges 11/24/2015

Debra Black insists she is “not a thief.”

She says she rolled her electric wheelchair out of the Goodwill Industries store in Tustin after inadvertently neglecting to pay for a few items. The pack of purple napkins, headband and small purse came to $6.97.

But once a security guard stopped her that day in March 2013, things got heated. Black, 64, said she was frightened into signing a confession and agreeing to complete a six-hour “life skills” course and pay a Utah company $500.

When Black did not pay, she received multiple calls and letters from Corrective Education Co., including this final warning: “Contact us immediately to prevent the filing of a criminal complaint.”

Black unsuccessfully sued the firm, which refers to itself as CEC, along with Monument Security Inc., contending they were debt collectors that had violated laws governing that industry.

On Monday, the San Francisco city attorney weighed in, filing a new lawsuit that alleges CEC's practices violate the California business and professions code and amount to extortion and false imprisonment.

The suit seeks civil penalties as well as restitution for every Californian who has paid into the program. About 20,000 accused shoplifters are believed to have participated nationwide.

The company, founded in 2010 by two Harvard Business School graduates, calls itself “the leading provider of restorative justice education.” It purports to give low-level, first-time shoplifters a valuable opportunity to learn how to make better choices, while saving them a criminal record and sparing law enforcement resources.

Retailers that have contracted to use the program include Bloomingdale's, Wal-Mart, Burlington Coat Factory, DSW Inc. and Goodwill Industries of Orange County, according to documents and interviews. The companies pay nothing; CEC pays them for each participant who signs up. Complete article

All this trouble for an alleged theft of $6.97? Before the retail industry consolidated into a small number of oligarchies small businesses had much more basic sense than to turn something like that into a federal case. But this is very common for Big-Box stores where all the decisions are made in far away corporate offices concerned only about profits. Walmart has had problems with a security officer chasing and beating a shoplifter for a 59c donut and shootings incidents involving theft of sandpaper or underwear.

Tax-payers foot an enormous amount of the bill for Walmart's high crime problem! This is what they consider a "negative externality," which means that Walmart doesn't have to take these expenses into consideration when figuring out their profits so as long as no one pays attention they don't have to worry about it; however this should be considered another enormous subsidy to Walmart from the taxpayers, who often give them additional tax breaks that small businesses don't get. This is one of the points that Stacy Mitchell made in her book. There are an enormous amount of people outraged with Walmart; which should mean that they would be at a major disadvantage when it comes to attracting customers. However as she explains in her book they take advantage of their political connections to get breaks their competitors don't have running them out of business; then once they dominate the market they don't have to be as competitive and cities that give them those tax breaks lose revenue from small businesses that don't get them and get stuck with the tab for their high crime problems.

However if you Google "Walmart Restorative Justice" the vast majority of articles from the traditional media ignore many of the most important and obvious problems with Walmart crime, including, Walmart's 'Second Chance' Program for Shoplifters, 11/01/2016 which is supposed to be a magazine with expertize in security. This article implies their solution to this problem is a "the six-hour education course," and "CEC offers scholarships to those who are unable to afford the $400 fee. CEC says that less than two percent of shoplifters who complete the CEC educational program reoffend, compared with estimates as high as 80 percent for those who do not participate in a restorative justice program."

Um, OK

I’ve often said that ridicule or appeals to emotion are highly inappropriate methods of debunking false claims or propaganda.

They’re going to solve crime by giving them a six hour course; they don’t mention this is an online course in this article nor do they mention the lawsuits, they’re facing or that this “scholarship” means they sign an agreement to pay and additional $100 in payments and that they could face debt collectors. They don’t mention the enormous amounts of additional crime problems that Walmart have and make it appear as if they’re trying to do the shoplifter a favor.

They claim “less than two percent… reoffend.” The author of this article is supposed to have some kind of security expertise. She doesn’t raise any doubts about this claim or ask for the data behind it or how they came to this conclusion. Nor does she inquire about how they know the shoplifters for this program are non-violent offenders.

Some good child psychologists, sociologists and criminologists spend an enormous amount of time explaining how early child abuse leads to escalating violence and other social problems, abandoned inner cities, poverty economic inequality, lack of education and many other problems lead to crime and other social problems. They often explain that improved mental health opportunities early child care and counseling all can help reduce long term crime.

This can be slow and tedious and it often takes a lot of time; however when these social problems are addressed they do a much better job reducing crime than waiting until it's too late and expanding prisons after the fact.

We're supposed to believe they do much better than these good researchers at a for profit corporation that does this better with a "six-hour education course?"

Anyone that spends a moderate amount of time look at recidivism rates knows that less than two percent is a truly astounding rate that is incredibly hard to believe and might want to know more details about how they accomplished this with a six hour on-line course.

Some people that read this article without thinking it through might not recognize these obvious problems and many more; however anyone with a minimal amount of knowledge, even without a college education, in crime prevention would be highly skeptical of these claims.

This is an incredibly obvious propaganda piece, and many of the other articles about this subject also ignore most of the problems with Walmart’s crime problems as well or that this company is more interested in making a profit than they are with reducing crime.

I still don't think that ridicule or appeals to emotion are the most scientific way to debunk claims like this but if they can't even do a better job lying than this then it is hard to resist. Walmart often uses ridicule to dismiss their critics; but their arguments are so bad that hardly anyone with a minimum amount of critical thinking skills believes them. Perhaps, only those that are accustomed to blindly believing authority figures, and accept Walmarts so-called experts as authority figures are inclined to believe their rebuttals; or perhaps only those that simply don't pay enough attention to the details. 

But if you don’t think I successfully avoided ridicule or appeals to emotion in my rebuttal feel free to do your own fact checking. 

Most of these articles talk about how this program reduces calls to the police; but they neglected to report about these calls to the police while they were rising as Walmart was expanding. For a long time the traditional media remained mostly silent about this subject. Occasionally there have been a handful of articles scattered around the country going back decades, in the past four years they often go at least four or five months with few or none before a police department speaks out about it; when this happens it isn’t uncommon for two or three departments around d the country to speak out at the same time, but only at the local level. The study from “Wake Up Walmart” "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" (PDF), compiled a few statements from articles that go back at least five years before the study was done in 2006. Unfortunately like the study that was done Wal-Mart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices? three years ago Walmart simply denied all the problems in the face of an enormous amount of evidence and governments did little or nothing to force them and crime has gotten significantly worse since then, possibly contributing to their record breaking number of shootings last year and possibly again this year with even more.

Time Magazine’s article Low Prices, High Crime: Inside Walmart’s Plan to Crack Down on Shoplifting 11/1/2016 is slightly better than the vast majority of them reporting on a few of the other crimes and at least mentioning the lawsuits pending but even this one doesn’t mention the vast majority of their crime problems and ignore the root causes of crime and how to prevent it.

Now that most media outlets security corporations or any other related business are run by for-profit organizations that often have the same ideology about privatizing everything control a large portion of the information we get about so-called educational material it often seems as if scientific research has turned into a commodity. Alleged scientific research that looks like it can increase profits, at least in the short term, gets financed and reported far and wide, regardless of how credible it is.

Research that sorts through the details and gets good peer review from sincere people are often relegated to the fringes and reported only where a small number of people can see it. If we can’t get more reliable peer reviewed research to make our decisions it will be a disaster one way or another. If we allow so-called experts like Diane Ritchey, Mike Lamb, Darrell Huntsman, who contributed to the article cited above, or many others repeating similar propaganda to control policy decisions about crime then they might get rich temporarily but it will be at the expense of the vast majority of the public which will have to deal with the increased crime that results as a result of their incompetent recommendations designed to make them rich without doing much if anything to reduce crime, and possibly making it much worse.

There is something seriously wrong when for profit security organizations are recommending policies that will put as at risk but increase their profits and enable them to expand their business.

According to "Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics" By Marie Gottschalk, Walmart is also one of the corporations profiting off of forced labor in the private prison industry. They’ve been buying produce that was grown by prison labor in the south and may have also bought other prison goods. They’ve financed the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has been heavily promoting for profit prisons, and even after it was exposed and most other corporations stopped financing them they continued to do so. Of course they also have a long history of importing good made by slaves in China and other oppressive regimes.

Most small businesses are not in a position to benefit from prison labor, and frankly the decent ones wouldn’t even want to. This gives Walmart a competitive advantage and adds to the unfair competition tactics exposed by Stacy Mitchell in her book that enabled them to dominate the market even though an enormous amount of their own customers hate them.

Instead of passing laws that protect the public and reduce crime elected officials pass laws that enable an oligarchy system and endanger the public.

These are just a handful of the articles available on this including what I consider the best ones; however the vast majority of the people that are writing about this are involved in the security or media industry and many of them seem to support privatization of government services to for profit organizations. One response to the following article said, “Walmart needs to find a way to turn shoplifting into a profit center,” which seems to be the attitude of many educated professionals, that seem to be very selective about the fact’s they’re willing to acknowledge. However if you look past the article and the first several responses there are a few that raise legitimate questions which I reposted here:

Will Walmart’s ‘restorative justice’ reduce shoplifting? 09/26/2016

Walmart has faced criticism from some in the law enforcement community who believe that factors such as a lack of sales associates on store floors are leading to higher incidences of crime at the retailer’s locations. Some have questioned whether Walmart’s management and board are willing to incur the added labor costs necessary to deter shoplifters. While the chain has not publicly committed to adding large numbers of permanent workers to its labor force, it has come up with a new program that it believes will make thieves think twice about stealing from its stores.

According to The Joplin Globe, Walmart has a new program called “restorative education” that aims to dissuade those caught shoplifting for the first time from becoming repeat offenders. Under the program, individuals with no criminal record who are caught stealing from Walmart are given the option of paying $400 and taking an online course instead of being turned over to the police. If they can’t pay the $400, they are given the option of taking the course and paying $500 in four payments. Failure to complete the course or pay will result in Walmart pressing charges against the shoplifter. Complete article

Most of the feedback, especially the first reviews seems to be from corporations more interested in increased privatization for profit however there are still a few that see how many problems will inevitably come from this including the following:

Ed Rosenbaum
CEO, The Customer Service Rainmaker, Rainmaker Solutions

I am not viewing this as an example of Walmart being good citizens. I see there being two separate problems. First is the mother stealing food to feed her family. Second is more the young teens stealing to see if they can get away with it.

What is being solved by arresting the mother? How then does Walmart expect her to pay the $400 to $500.00 ransom for the “Get Out of Jail Free” card? How did they come up with this number? How do they expect it to be paid and where does this money go? Does it go to funding a social program to rehabilitate? Or does it go to the bottom line? Your guess is as good as mine. But I am guessing the bottom line. Maybe Walmart should consider putting the shoplifter in an in-house training program and hire them to work off the amount, not $500. Just the amount of the items taken. Maybe, just maybe, Walmart might find they have hired some talented employees. $500 is a heavy price to pay for someone who can’t afford a $10 package of hamburger meat.

Craig Sundstrom
CFO, Weisner Steel

I’m sorry, but any program that begins with the phrase “pay (Walmart) $400…” has little to do with restorative justice” and much to do with raising revenue. In fact, given that the program seeks to eliminate the legal system — and incidentally the safeguards of due process that system affords — it might be called extortion.

However in all fairness, even though I’m not a fan of Walmart, many of the biggest contributing causes of high crime rates, whether it is in their store or not, have little or nothing to do with Walmart. As I have pointed out in numerous articles one of the biggest contributing causes to crime, especially violent crime is early child abuse including corporal punishment that teaches children to respond to their problems with violence. Another is abandoned inner cities; however Walmart expanded mostly in abandoned rural areas before trying to start store in big cities, where some politicians especially in places like New York where they still won’t allow them to open resisted them or they waited until the rural areas were saturated before opening in cities. Scott Wolfe and criminologist David Pyrooz, the authors of the study I reviewed in Wal-Mart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices? came to some similar conclusions, although they didn’t go into the same details.

They said that “Walmart tends to expand in communities with less social capital — and less likelihood of citizen opposition — and in areas with higher-than-average crime rates.” This is true as indicated by the following two articles that show that some the states they expanded the most in also have the highest murder rates, incarceration rates, and the most support of corporal punishment in schools among other things:

How much the average Alabamian spends each year at Walmart. Hint: It's a lot 12/05/2016

.... Nationally, Walmart has some $288 billion in annual sales. Those sales aren't equally distributed by state, however. GoBankingRates.com analyzed sales tax information to determine the states where people spend the most money at Walmart. ....

How does that rank nationally? Here's the top 10 list of states where people spend the most at Walmart:

Oklahoma - $1,662.43 per person
South Dakota - $1,511.86 per person
Arkansas - $1,494.80 per person
Alabama - $1,476.81 per person
Kansas - $1,417.71 per person
Mississippi - $1,395.02 per person
Louisiana - $1,235.38 per person
Missouri - $1,230.66 per person
North Dakota - $1,189.45 per person
Tennessee - $1,125.68 per person Complete article

According to the FBI Murder Rates listed at Death Penalty Information Center five of the states that spend the most at Walmart are among the ten states with the highest murder rates; two more come in at eleventh and thirteenth; the other three are in the lower half but not the bottom ten. Five of these states are also among the ten states with the highest incarceration rates, three more are in the top half and only one of the remaining two are in the bottom ten. This correlation is consistent with studies showing Walmart has more crime than other stores; however it is highly unlikely that Walmart directly influences these high rates. It is more likely that they come from a common cause. These states have higher use of corporal punishment and poverty and lower education available to them; and they’re less able to stand up to oligarchies as indicated in the study previously reviewed Wal-Mart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices?

The 19 US states where the biggest private employer is Walmart 03/06/2017

The US economy, in theory, is supported by a rich diversity of employers. But in much of the country, more people work for Walmart than at any other business.

In 19 states, Walmart is the biggest private-sector employer, and in many of them, there are more Walmart employers than state or military workers, according to research from Olivet Nazarene University and 24/7 Wall Street. They includes both sparsely populated states without major industries, like Wyoming, and some of the biggest states, like Texas and Illinois.

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming. Complete article

Six out of these nineteen states are among the ten states with the highest murder rates; an additional three are close and have been in the top ten sates in the past few years; none are in the bottom ten nor have they been in the past few years, although Wyoming came close consistently. Fourteen out of nineteen of these states are also among the only nineteen states that still allow corporal punishment in schools. Ten out of the top eleven states for incarceration rates among the states where Walmart is the biggest employer. An additional five are in the top half, two more are only barely in the bottom half and none are in the bottom seventeen. (Source for incarceration rates listed in "Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics" By Marie Gottschalk 2015 PDF

There is also a clear correlation with religious faith and high business or employment at Walmart. Most of the states that have a lot of business at Walmart are among the most faithful and most of the least religious states are not; with one notable exception, Utah which ranks high among participation at church services, although it is slightly lower when people consider “religion an important part of your daily life.” Utah is the only state that is mostly Mormon and Mormons are the only religion where the leader of the religion Gordon Hinkley came out strongly against the use of corporal punishment. Utah is the only one of the most religious states to routinely get into the bottom ten when it comes to murder rates. However even though they have fewer Walmarts than other religious states they do seem to have a fair amount of police calls to the Walmart’s that they do have. New England is probably the area with the least amount of crime at Walmart’s and four out of six New England states routinely make the bottom ten states when it comes to murder rates.

These religions, including Mormons all teach followers to obey authority and they’re much less likely to support unions.

It is unlikely that Walmart directly causes this correlation with high murder rates; however it does take advantage of the authoritarian attitudes in states that still use corporal punishment. It also relies heavily on union busting tactics and other authoritarian methods which almost certainly contributes to these high murder rates and Walmart’s high crime rates, so it probably does indirectly impact both crime at Walmart and murder rates in the states where it does business most.

If you check the Walmart crime reports below and other old ones then you might find that there are plenty of times where armed robbers don’t even bring their own weapons; instead they just steal machetes, axes, knives, baseball bats or other weapons and pull them out if they’re approached by security when they walk out with carts full of goods. There have also been plenty of cases where their guns, which apparently aren’t always kept very secure, have been stolen. In one example, a few years back, they had a new security case to lock up the guns; the keys were taped to the back. It should have been obvious that the keys were supposed to be removed before displaying the guns in the store but just in case they wrote on the case a reminder to remove them.

No one read it, apparently, or perhaps those that read it assumed management would take care of it.

If no one found the keys and stole the guns I would have no way of knowing this.

I’m not positive but I think that might have been the time that stolen guns from Walmart were used in a standoff with police nearby.

If they encouraged reasonable discretion in their workers and hired more management with critical thinking skills they could avoid many problems like this; but they prefer blind loyalty from people that aren’t inclined to stand up to authority.

I did a series of articles in 2014 about leading causes of violent crime in 2014 including the ones mentioned as well as education, income inequality, gambling, Union busting, and the death penalty listed below:

Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows

Does lack of education increase violent crime? Religion?

How much does Income Inequality Affects Crime Rates?

States with high murder rates have larger veteran populations

Teach a soldier to kill and he just might

The tragedy of gambling politics in United States

How does gambling and gun control impact violent crime?

Politics, not technology, caused botched executions

Democrats do a bad job on crime; Republicans and the Media are worse!!

Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit

Life Insurance and media companies are encouraging lots of murders

Union Busting adds to corrupt bureaucracy and incites crime

The following are a list of the surge of articles that came out starting last August about Walmart’s high crime rates along with links to the monthly Walmart Crime reports which show large samplings of their major crime incidents. These links go back to August of 2013, although the only ones listed below are since the surge of articles; however you can find them by searching the archives at the beginning of each month going back to 2013.

Wal-Mart Crime report August 2016

KSL Investigation uncovers Wal-Mart generates highest number of police calls in many Utah cities 08/12/2016
Okla. Walmart’s Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy 08/17/2016
Violent crimes at Walmart top 200 this year as police slam giant retailer for security practices 08/17/2016
Springfield Missouri Police, Wal-Mart Cooperate In Attempt To Reduce Theft At Stores 08/18/2016
Report: NC Walmart is hot bed for crime 08/19/2016
A different Target-vs.-Wal-Mart measurement: Crime 08/22/2016
In Portland Oregon area, police called to Walmart twice as much as Fred Meyer 08/22/2016
Working 4 You: Arkansas Walmart Faces Criticism for Call Loads to Police 08/22/2016
South Amarillo Tx. Walmart hoping to fix security issues 08/24/2016
Walmart's crime problem keeps police busy 08/31/2016

Wal-Mart Crime report September 2016

Wal-Mart takes its own approach to shoplifting 09/24/2016
Walmart, in parts of the metro, ranks high on number of police calls 09/29/2016

Wal-Mart Crime report October 2016

Coronado Mall, Walmart among top places Albuquerque NM police are called out to 10/14/2016
Walmarts are still hotspots of crime, but Springfield Missouri police see progress 10/25/2016
WFAA: Wal-Mart tops list of police calls in five North Texas cities 10/26/2016
One retailer keeps Minn. Twin Cities cops most busy, and it's Walmart 10/27/2016

Wal-Mart Crime report November 2016 Black Friday Shoot Outs

Walmart keeps local police departments busy including Las Vegas 11/22/2016

Wal-Mart Crime report December 2016

Activists launch campaign highlighting Walmart crime stats, law enforcement impact 12/07/2016
Wal-Mart's high call rate keeps Sioux Falls SD police busy 12/16/2016
SC Town Walmart sees slight increase in shoplifting 12/29/2016
Minn. Walmart called local police more than 600 times this year 12/28/2016

Wal-Mart Crime report January 2017

Wal-Mart Crime report February 2017

Walmart tops list of Colorado Springs businesses with most police calls 02/06/2017
Police calls to Western NY Walmarts Cost $400,000+ 02/08/2017
WREG investigates the high number of Walmart calls to Memphis Tenn. Police Department 02/27/2017

Wal-Mart Crime report March 2017

Theft tops long list of police calls to Ohio Walmart last year 03/13/2017
Police crack down after rise in thefts at Coweta Okla. Walmart 03/16/2017
Minn. Brooklyn Center Walmart Launches Partnership with Police to Prevent Crime Around Store 03/25/2017
Dickson Tenn. police: Walmart thefts drain police resources 03/31/2017

Wal-Mart Crime report April 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

For-Profit Insurance is Government Authorized Crime Syndicate

Transcript: Interview with Donald Trump 05/11/2017

A shocking percentage of the public is incredibly bad at basic fundamental math!

Otherwise they would realize that the fundamental principles of both the Gambling and Insurance industries are based on fraud!

They would also realize that Trump's statement isn't remotely accurate and sounds like the misleading commercials about cheap insurance that don't pay out nearly as much as they imply. It doesn't take much to realize that the more Colonial Penn Gerber Life or other cheap insurance offers spend on their ads for insurance the less they have available to pay out claims, especially if they intend to be a profitable company!

This guarantees that they must be hiding something in the fine print!

The public is constantly told that the insurance companies are competing for their business; but this competition can't possibly change basic fundamental math. Instead of competing by doing a better job they compete by coming up with more deceptive ads to convince the public they're getting a better deal than they are.

Insurance is pooled risk; which means that everyone puts in a little money in the form of premiums then when one policy holder has an accident or needs health care or something the pool of money is available to help them out, or at least it's supposed to be. But they also have to take bureaucratic expenses and profits out of that pool of money. So the more they compete with deceptive ads the worse the deal for customers, since the money spent on those ads is no longer available for claims. The same goes for commissions, office expenses money donated to political campaigns and epidemic levels of fraud.

What they don't tell you is that the media, insurance companies, and politicians who collect enormous amounts of money from both these industries have an incentive to sweep it under the rug so that the vast majority of the public is unaware of how big this problem is, and that it is contributing to hundreds of deaths per year, and who knows how many injuries or billions of dollars in fraud.

They don't tell the public that a large number of people involved in the insurance industry are often involved in many of these scams, including murder, but not limited to that.

They don't tell the public that there are also an enormous number of police officers involved in insurance fraud, including murder although other types of fraud are more common including arson, auto theft but the most common insurance fraud by police is almost certainly workers compensation fraud.

They don't tell the public that instead of organizing information about this so that we can find out how widespread this is they often pass trade secrecy laws that enable the insurance industry to hide the data.

The is FBI also in a position to provide data that could enable the public to understand how widespread this problem is but they do little or nothing.

They don't tell the public, at least not in a high profile manner, that according to Insurance Fraud 2016 and numerous other sources that about 10% of property/casualty losses are due ton fraud. Nor do they often explain the fundamentals of insurance which is that it is pooled risk. This means that everyone contributes to the pool of money used to pay out claims, but first expenses have to be taken out, and in the case of for profit insurance, the profits also have to be subtracted before money is paid out.

No matter how much money insurance companies spend on advertising or lobbying they can't change basic math!

There's little or no chance that the average policy holder gets more than sixty to seventy cents on the dollar for the money they pay in premiums. It may not be possible to eliminate bureaucratic expenses; but if they at least explained the basic principles to the customers and voters they could at least understand simple ways to minimize them.

Why not let the public know how big a percentage of the premiums are paid out to policy holders, and how much is used for other expenses?

Could it be that if the public did know they would realize that insurance should be kept to a minimum if it is bought at all; and the people controlling large institutions are getting a cut of the loot?

If anyone paid close attention they might have noticed that the media briefly reported on a requirement that eighty percent of the premiums collected for the so called Affordable Care Act are supposed to be used on health related expenses. This is almost certainly much better than typical insurance, assuming they actually do it and don't hide non-medical expenses by claiming they're medical expenses. This might explain why the insurance industry was outraged by this rule. the reporting on this was very brief so most people won't remember it. However due to high costs of medication or other medical expenses the cost of the Affordable Care Act policies is still far higher than other countries that have Single Payer.

It is virtually guaranteed that many of the highest advertised insurance plans don't do nearly as well and many may only pay less than fifty cents on the dollar to claims, although there is little or no way for most people to know this.

What the defenders of the current system don't want the public to know is that they're the only ones benefiting from it.

If the majority of the public knew more about the basic principles of insurance they would realize that the current system is a scam and they would be better off with a different system, perhaps Single Payer, like many other countries already have!

As long as the public remains ignorant of these basic principles the insurance industry will continue providing financial incentives for epidemic amounts of fraud that many people including their own agents, doctors, police officers and other professionals involved in related industries are carrying out on a large scale, even if they're only reported as isolated incidents!

A few years ago a couple went to a Casino to gamble while they waited for their home to explode, unintentionally killing two of their neighbors, so they could collect insurance money from it.

Woman Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Blowing Up Her House to Collect Insurance 12/20/2016

A judge sentenced a woman in Indiana to 50 years in prison for her role in planning to blow up her house to collect insurance money, reported The Wall Street Journal. The 2012 explosion killed two people.

On Tuesday, Marion County Superior Court Judge Sheila Carlisle sentenced 51-year-old Monserrate Shirley after Shirley pleaded guilty in 2015 to two felony counts of conspiracy to commit arson at her Richmond Hill home in Indianapolis. Shirley testified against her boyfriend who lived with her at the time, Mark Leonard, and his half brother Bob. Together, the three cooked up the house explosion plot to collect $300,000 in insurance money.

Prosecutors said Leonard lead the plot for the November 2012 explosion. He is said to have poured gasoline in the bedrooms, let the house fill with gas after removing safety valves, and started the fire by setting the microwave to spark. Shirley and Leonard were at a casino gambling when the explosion happened. The explosion would kill a couple living next door and would go on to damage or destroy 80 homes nearby. Of the homes impacted by the explosion, 30 were so beyond repair they had to be destroyed. Complete article

This is just one of thousands of insurance scams that are endangering the public that gets reported as an isolated incident. If you look through enough of them it becomes apparent that a lot of the people interested in trying to get rich off insurance scams are often also interested in gambling where the odds are also rigged against the players.

Most of the public doesn't seem to understand one of the most basic principles of propaganda described in a quote, often ironically attributed to Vladimir Lenin, "A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth," or at least it seems to. However advertisers, media pundits, political strategists, and many other college educated people are well aware of this propaganda tactic, although they rarely if ever try to explain it to the majority of the public.

These advertisers repeat lies about how "you can win" at the lottery or casino or hyped up lies about magical replacements of merchandise "protecting" you, without telling the public that the more they spend on these deceptive ads the less they have for actual claims!

Judging by the propaganda that is repeated over and over again, without explaining the basics of gambling, advertisers or political manipulation it isn't unreasonable to assume that the reason why they don't explain it to uneducated people is because they're doing their best to use these propaganda tactics to manipulate them.

In addition to providing an incentive for hundreds of murders per year plus an enormous amount of additional fraud in other types of insurance, unlike a Single Payer system a for profit insurance declines to provide coverage for mentally ill people that would almost certainly prevent many crimes committed by them, perhaps including the following example:

Desmond Keith Carter March 9, 1992

Carter’s case represents a reality that few are willing to accept: the criminal justice system focuses overwhelmingly on the effects of violence and retaliatory measures, and insufficiently on the causes of violence and possible solutions.

Carter’s grandmother, who cared for him throughout his childhood and teenage years, recognized his substance abuse problems and sought medical assistance at Charter Hospital, a state mental health facility.

Despite her efforts, she had little success seeking treatment; the hospital rejected Carter because his family – which consisted of a mother who abandoned him and a father incarcerated for murder – could not afford adequate health insurance. A few weeks later, Carter, intoxicated with alcohol, crack cocaine, and tranquilizers, entered Purdy’s house in search of cash to buy more drugs.

Rather than execute another victim and ignore the issue of drug addiction, the state of North Carolina and the United States government should examine where along Carter’s path to violence it could have altered the course of events.

In this case, the government refused to provide affordable health care for a citizen oppressed since his early childhood, and its shortcoming resulted in crime. The death penalty will not stop the cycle of violence linked with poverty and oppression, because it fails to address the roots of the crisis. .....

Poverty played another important part in the saga. Carter, a drug addict who was under the influence of crack, alcohol and tranquilizers at the time of his crime, lived with his grandmother. Just days before the murder, the grandmother became so alarmed with Carter's erratic behavior that she tried to have him admitted to a local mental health facility.

But Carter was turned away because he didn't have insurance. The family's inability to access mental health treatment derailed an intervention that may well have saved Helen Purd's life. "Desmond tried to get help but was rebuffed," says Lloyd. "His impairment and the family’s efforts to address the problem need to be reconsidered." Complete article

It wouldn't be hard to find an enormous number of additional cases where serious crime could have been prevented by recognizing the root causes of violence and preventing them before it leads to murder of some other crime. In this case treatment just before the murder might have done the trick; however if we provide better child care education and other social programs to help it will prevent it from coming close to this.

The goal shouldn't be to maximize profits and growth for the insurance industry; it should be to minimize risk to the public by preventing causes of violence!

People who want to find this research can.

The current for profit system is far more concerned with maximizing profits by expanding their business without necessarily providing consumers with their money’s worth. In fact the more they minimize their pay outs for legitimate concerns the higher their profits are as long as they can avoid taking much if any blame for the crimes that are being committed either as a result of the incentives provided by insurance or the lack of real efforts to understand and reduce the root causes of crime.

A few other things that they fail to mention is as I pointed out in previous articles is that Police are often among the most common perpetrators of insurance fraud and as I pointed out in Life Insurance and media companies are encouraging lots of murders over two percent and perhaps as many as six to eight percent of the murders listed on Murderpedia involve a possibility, if not a guarantee, that a leading motive for these murders was life insurance. If this is representative of the typical murder rate then that means that between three and twelve hundred people are murdered each year partly as a result of their life insurance policies.

On top of that some of the people most likely to be involved in insurance fraud are often insiders or professionals that are either in the insurance industry or a related industry that deals with them on a regular basis. Below is a list of a small fraction of these insurance agents or other professionals including more than two dozen additional murders either carried out by insurance agents or other professionals or targeting them sometimes both. This is only a small fraction of the insurance fraud that happens every year.

My statistics about between two and eight percent of murders being committed partially for life insurance might be a little rough; however they're far better than any information that I can find from any of the so called experts. After searching for the percentage of people killed for life insurance the closest thing I could find was someone asking the same question, How many people get killed in hope of a life insurance payout? And how does it affect insurance policies? This question was only answered by professionals that obviously had an incentive to downplay the importance of this issue and minimize concerns about life insurance. They didn't even consider the possibility that they might do a statistical analysis of murders from either the records of the FBI or insurance companies.

You would think that criminologists might want to do this analysis, since the records will provide some sort of answer and they're in abetter position than I to do the work; but there seems to be little or none of this that I can find. Why don't they do statistical research to find out how many people are killed with insurance as a motive? how many of these murders actually result in payments from the insurance companies? how many professionals of various types are involved in it? There is data that can be found through the internet but it isn't nearly as good as what's in the FBI files or files that the insurance companies have which are almost certainly proprietary. If their files can be used to understand and reduce violence why should the law protect their secrecy instead of requiring disclosure? to help prevent those with political power profit at the expense of the rest of us?

Are the insurance companies powerful enough to minimize research into this subject? If they aren't why isn't much better research available?

We do have enough information to know that a lot of people did get away with murder at least for a while and collect from these policies, because in many cases they do it again and eventually get caught.

The insurance companies, politicians collecting donations from them, and media establishments collecting advertising revenue, are far more concerned with keeping people buying insurance and expanding this business as much as possible than they are with minimizing the crime they provide an incentive for, since they’re getting a cut of the loot!

As I pointed out in a previous article, Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit on one issue after another when it comes to the contributing causes of crime there is almost always a way to reduce it; however there are also industries that profit off of it one way or another. One of the biggest contributing causes of crime is poverty but instead of trying to reduce that by reducing income inequality they continue supporting corporations that are involved in union busting activities outsourcing and other activities that ignore social problems, or what they call “negative externalities.” Supporting an incredibly corrupt insurance industry is another example of how politicians are far more concerned with serving the best interests of campaign contributors than they are with looking for the best interests of the public by educating them about the best research available and making their decisions based on that research.

The biggest criminals aren’t the insurance agents listed below that have been caught with blatant insurance fraud or the police that are also caught with enormous amounts of fraud or any other policy holder involved in fraud; it is the CEOs that are making enormous profits, and bribing politicians with what they call campaign contributions, and the media with advertising dollars, to ensure that neither of them let the majority of the public know how big a problem this is and how it can be prevented.

This doesn’t guarantee that Single Payer will eliminate all insurance fraud; at least one of the incidents listed below is Medicare fraud which is a government insurance system; but it would dramatically reduce many of them. Furthermore if they required full disclosure of all the information needed to understand how it contributes to crime then it could be greatly reduced, although some exceptions might be made to defend privacy, which can be done by changing some names.

A couple additional scams have been exposed in the following couple of articles:

The Life Insurance Industry’s Big Secret 12/04/2012

Life insurance industry under investigation 04/17/2016

When you take out a life insurance policy, you pay premiums in the expectation that when you die your spouse or your children will receive the benefit. But audits of the nation's leading insurance companies have uncovered a systematic, industry-wide practice of not paying significant numbers of beneficiaries.

In a little-known series of settlements, 25 of the nation's biggest life insurance companies have agreed to pay more than $7.5 billion in back-death benefits. However, about 35 insurance companies have not settled and remain under investigation for not paying when the beneficiary is unaware there was a policy, something that is not at all uncommon.

Kevin McCarty: The beneficiary never comes forward because he or she doesn't know the policy exists.

But the companies know, says Kevin McCarty, the insurance commissioner of Florida, who led the national task force investigating the industry. And the companies don't pay, he says, unless a beneficiary makes a claim.

Kevin McCarty: And what we found is that companies have actual knowledge in their files that people have died, yet they have neglected to initiate an investigation and pay the claim.

Lesley Stahl: So in other words, life insurance companies are failing to pay out death benefits when they know the person is dead, and they're claiming they don't know.

Kevin McCarty: In many cases, that has been exactly what we have found. Complete article

The following are reports of insurance fraud that are carried out with help from insurance agents or other professionals in related fields, starting with a couple dozen examples where either insurance agents were involved in murder or they were murdered. This may include some cases where the murders were to cover up other types of fraud:

Insurance Agent, Researcher Charged in Illinois Murder-for-Hire Scheme January 21, 2010

North Carolina Insurance Examiner Missing, Agent Arrested for Murder May 20, 2008

Convicted murderer David Duyst, who shot wife in 2000, denied a new trial 02/08/2011

Shawn Smoot Insurance agent indicted in murder of Knoxville woman set to turn himself in Monday 06/20/2012

Slain Sanford insurance agent's boyfriend Richard Barnes faces judge 12/09/2014

Joseph Caronna Tenn. Insurance Agent Goes To Trial In Murder, Fraud Case 10/25/2012

Insurance Agent Charged With Soliciting Customer's Murder 04/22/1988

Police: Two Louisiana fraud investigators killed; suspect, John Melvin Lavergne dead 06/08/2011

Ernest Basden and Sylvia White conspired to kill Billy Carlyle White who was an insurance salesman to claim life insurance benefits January 20, 1992

Albert Foulcher was convicted of the murder in 1993, at Pailhés near Montpellier, of another insurance agent - the man from whom he had bought a business in 1984. Committed five murders between January 19, 1993 and January 8, 2001 before committing suicide on January 17, 2001

Ralph Davis, an insurance broker, murdered Susan Davis, his wife in 1986. Between June and July 1986 Davis forged three checks on his wife’s personal bank account in the amount of $ 900 and also forged his wife’s signature on a change of beneficiary life insurance form to make himself the beneficiary of the policy.

Markham Duff-Smith, a 46-year-old insurance broker whose voracious thirst for the lavish lifestyle led to the murders of his wealthy mother, sister, brother-in-law and 14-month-old nephew, was executed on June 29, 1993. Murders to collect from estate not insurance.

Prosecutors argued Brenda Andrew also was having an affair with Rob Andrew's insurance agent, James Pavatt. Attorneys said Pavatt and Brenda Andrew conspired to kill Rob Andrew for an $800,000 life insurance policy on November 20, 2001 Little is known about James Pavatt's early life, although it is known that he was in the Air Force and served in Southeast Asia. He was attached to the Military Police. He was married to Suk Hui Pavatt for nine years before divorcing her in 2001. At that time he was working as an agent for Prudential Insurance. Former co-workers characterize him as very cold, and manipulative. One co-worker said there was something about Pavatt that struck him as "off-center". "He always talked about shooting dogs. Every time he saw a dog he would talk about shooting it," the man said. Someone else who knew Pavatt described him as "creepy."

Teresa Stone admits conspiring with her minister and lover to kill her husband, Independence insurance agent Randy Stone - To collect insurance money March 31, 2010

The Philadelphia poison ring was a murder for hire gang led by the Petrillo cousins, Herman and Paul Petrillo, in 1938. The leaders were ultimately convicted of 114 poison-murders and were executed by electric chair in 1941. Paul's cousin, Morris Bolber, was among the 14 others in the gang, all of whom were sentenced to life imprisonment. 05/1/2017 ... Paul ran an insurance scam business from the back of his tailor's shop ... The murders began in 1931, with Herman enlisting associate thugs to kill men he had arranged to insure, to collect on the double indemnity accident insurance.

Olen Edward Hutchison, of Campbell County, was convicted of conspiring with several other men, including M. C. Curnutt an insurance agent, to drown Hugh Huddleston during a fishing trip in 1988 to collect almost $800,000 in insurance money and other benefits.

Ruth Snyder first persuaded her husband to purchase insurance, but with the assistance of an insurance agent (who was subsequently fired and sent to prison for forgery) "signed" a $48,000 life insurance policy that paid extra ("double indemnity") if an unexpected act of violence killed the victim. March 20, 1927 Henry Judd Gray convicted of being her accomplice
Ruth Brown Snyder 05/0/2017

Debra Milke and her four-year-old son, Christopher, shared an apartment with co-defendant James Styers and his two-year-old daughter. While Milke worked at an insurance agency, Styers, an unemployed and disabled veteran, watched Christopher. December 2, 1989 In September, 1989, shortly after beginning a new job, Milke took out a $5000 life insurance policy on Christopher as part of her employee benefit plan. Debra Milke's sentence was overturned after she served twenty five years.
James Lynn Styers December 2, 1989

As a former prosecutor, part-time judge and prominent criminal defense attorney, Fredric Tokars worked on all sides of the criminal justice system. November 29, 1992 Unbeknownst to her, Fred Tokars took out several insurance policies totalling $1.7 million on Sara's life. Lawrence denied any involvement in the murder — by himself or by Fred Tokars — for about seven months. But after a plea agreement he claimed Tokars offered him $25,000 cash and a $910,000 investment in their joint business to arrange Sara Tokars' murder.

Ronald Mikos convicted for Killing a witness who was going to testify against him in a Medicare fraud investigation January 27, 2002 The same jury had on May 5, 2005 convicted Ronald Mikos of defrauding Medicare out of $1.2 Million by billing the Health and Human Services program from surgeries he never performed.

Masumi Hayashi is a Japanese woman convicted of putting poison in a pot of curry being served at a 1998 summer festival in the Sonobe district of Wakayama, Wakayama, Japan. July 25, 1998 After her arrest, she and her husband were indicted on a number of insurance fraud charges as well. Her husband was subsequently convicted and imprisoned for insurance fraud. Prior to the murders, Masumi had been an insurance saleswoman.

Pamela Ann Smart (née Wojas) (born August 16, 1967), is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder of Gregory Smart, an insurance salesman, and witness tampering in New Hampshire. 05/1/2017 Nicolosi claimed that Smart seduced Flynn to get him to murder her husband, so that she could avoid an expensive divorce and benefit from a $140,000 life insurance policy. .... Pam even agreed to pay them from the insurance money that she would collect.

Why dishonest claims turn violent 03/02/2017 Prentice Ponds, Michael Howell,

The following are additional examples of professionals, mostly insurance agents involved in other types of fraud.

Former Lincoln County commissioner sentenced in insurance fraud case 01/13/2017

Insurance Agents Charged In $100 Million Fraud Scheme 02/20/2012 In an indictment announced Feb. 16, federal authorities accuse three agents--Michael Binday, 48, the president and owner of a Scarsdale, N.Y. insurance agency; James Kevin Kergil, 57, an insurance agent based in Peekskill, N.Y.; and Mark Resnick, 56, an insurance agent based in Orlando, FL--of conspiring to defraud major insurance companies into issuing life insurance policies to straw buyers, when the true owners of the policies were third-party investors and financiers. All three agents have been arrested. In a statement announcing the indictment, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that the three insurance agents “concocted an elaborate scheme, using straw buyers and third-party agents, to deceive life insurance providers into issuing policies to unintended beneficiaries.

Insurance adjuster Jeffrey Cohen Sentenced to 37 Years in Prison in Massive Insurance Fraud Scheme 12/10/2015

Ramapo podiatrist Ira Bernstein admits plotting to kill wife 12/09/2016 Bernstein and his lover, Kelly Gribeluk, have now both admitted in Rockland County Court that they conspired to hire a local businessman to kill Susan Bernstein, as well as to have two insurance investigators beaten up to discourage them from bringing fraud allegations about Bernstein's podiatry practice to authorities.

Corrupt public adjuster damages homes with hammers, hoses, burning lard to balloon insurance claims 07/03/2018

31 arrested in organized insurance fraud scheme 05/20/2015 Espinosa, who owned and operated Nationwide Adjusters, was arrested in 2014 for allegedly working with recruiters and “finders” across the county to locate homeowners willing to allow him to set fires or flood their homes.

Mary Kumar Mass. Insurance agent charged in scam Bizarre case leads to confusion, victim's arrest 05/31/2016 According to Provost’s report, Middleton police were aware of Prestige Insurance customers who were not insured despite making regular payments. Police also learned Kumar was the point person for customers making auto insurance payments.

A month later, the victim was driving in Danvers when she was pulled over and arrested on the previous warrant (as a result of Kumar's impersonation, which she was unaware of). The day being a Friday, the victim spent three nights in jail before her transport to Ipswich District Court on Monday morning. She was eventually released on $500 cash bail.

Bakersfield Ca. agent arrested for insurance fraud scheme involving more than 100 policies 08/29/2016

Dennis Avera Jr., Darien Ga. Insurance agent arrested on fraud charges 04/11/2013

Christopher Lowell Jackson, Insurance agent from Athens Ga. charged with fraud; surrenders license 01/18/2017

Vicki Lee McGinley, Bakersfield California insurance agent arrested on counts of identity theft and insurance fraud 08/29/2016

Macie Anedra Yawn Eastman Ga. insurance agent arrested, charged with fraud 12/17/2015

Jimmie Harper Jr., Putnam WV insurance agent charged with arson, witness tampering 03/22/2016

David Sampy, Former La. Insurance Agent Arrested on Fraud Charges 03/29/2017

Donato Ramirez, Freedom Ca. area insurance agent arrested for auto insurance fraud 05/24/2016

Thelga Mahalia Nelson, Former city of Metter Ga. insurance agent arrested on felony fraud charges 04/05/2017 The investigation alleges that Nelson - a former Georgia licensed insurance agent - sold customers fake workers' compensation insurance coverage and pocketed the premium.

Troy Shrum Grundy County Tenn. insurance agent indicted for theft and insurance fraud 03/18/2017

Marta Cristina Cunha, Union County NJ insurance agent charged with identity theft, insurance fraud 12/23/2016

The Insurance Scam That’s Fleecing Low-Income Drivers — And How Police Are Making It Worse 05/23/2015 The racket is a growing problem in New York City and South Florida, according to an insurance industry group, but seems most prevalent in Michigan, where premiums are inflated by a state mandate that drivers purchase insurance plans that have unlimited lifetime medical benefits, among other features. Victims in Michigan are thrown even deeper into crisis when police, as is common there, accuse victims of being in on the scam and seize their vehicles and other assets under civil forfeiture laws.

Eddie Butler Greensboro NC Insurance Agent Charged With Embezzlement, Identity Theft 08/16/2017

La. State Police make numerous arrests for insurance fraud 03/10/2015 During the month of February 2015, Troopers received information on suspected insurance fraud by a State Farm insurance agent operating in Marrero, LA.

Ali Kakande, 37, and Salaiman Lutale, 35, Former Ca. Insurance Agents Arrested for $300,000 Insurance Fraud 04/06/2017

Deborah Elaine Thomas, Opelousas La. Insurance Agent Arrested 04/25/2011

Charles W. O'Neal, Sr., Macon Ga. insurance agent to appeal fraud charges 08/31/2016

Carl Eudell Orlando Fla. insurance agent accused of opening insurance policy with stolen identities 09/28/2016

The following are more fraud cases committed by people not involved in the insurance industry and this is only a small fraction of the reports. The more you search for more the more you’ll find.

6 charged for allegedly setting Va. homes on fire to collect insurance money 03/13/2017

28 charged with insurance fraud in scams involving over $1.1 million in potential fraud 04/06/2017

Six Arrested in $900K Insurance Fraud Scheme Involving 30 Virginia Fires 03/13/2017

Staged crashes lead to multiple arrests in Jefferson Davis Parish Louisiana 07/26/2016

Salinas doctor arrested, charged with 37 felonies 05/17/2016

Ten Pitt County NC residents accused of being in staged auto accident ring 08/01/2016 Investigators with the state Department of Insurance says the group staged seven different vehicle crashes between April and August of last year so they could defraud some $25,000 from seven insurance companies.

21 Shocking Murder for Life Insurance Plots (#4 Was Caught on Video!)

Man pleads to homicide in girlfriend's death along Eagle Creek trail 05/11/2017

Brothers convicted in murder plot for $2.5 million in insurance money 06/24/2016

Josh Hudler appears in court for killing dad in 2014 murder 11/30/2016 Prosecutors say the son wanted his father dead for the man's insurance money.

Linda Gillman suspected of planning to have ex-husband killed 12/29/2016 A woman is accused of planning to pay $25,000 in life insurance money to have her ex-husband and his new wife killed.

Brother’s ex-boyfriend murdered with tire iron in $2.5 million insurance scam 11/02/2016

Wife accused of killing husband tells jury 'you have to acquit Ms. Teng' 01/06/2017

Yeardley Love's Mother Asks Judge to Wait on Insurance Decision 01/02/2017

Huguely, Yeardley Love's Mother resist quick ruling on insurance 07/04/2016

Two charged in Amarillo, both arrested in attempted capital murder for hire 03/09/2017

Court decision could be overturned over $2m insurance payout following wife's murder 12/09/2016

Feds to seize $5 million in life insurance proceeds linked to murder of housekeeper in Colleyville 12/05/2016

Death Penalty Stands for West Hills Woman Who Had Her Husband Murdered 12/01/2016

Amherst man gets 60 years for killing his fiancée for insurance money 12/15/2016

Marc Van Beers, Aurore Martin: Diabolical Belgian Honeymoon Killers In Life Insurance Money Scam Subject Of ‘The Perfect Murder’ On Investigation Discovery 07/06/2016

Five Of The Most Notorious Life Insurance Murders Of All Time [Video]

4th husband of thrice-widowed woman convicted of murder says she's innocent 08/13/2016 First accomplice may have been next victim
Trial begins for alleged 'black widow' accused of plotting husband's 2006 murder 08/10/2016 Again, she collected on the insurance payout and then on the house after it burned down, prosecutors say.

Michele Williams, Greg Williams: CBS ’48 Hours’–Texas Black Widow Murdered Rich Hubby For Insurance Money 09/03/2016

Key murder case witness admits she lied about life insurance money 01/20/2016
Acquitted of wife's murder, Lincoln County man sues to recover her insurance money 04/15/2016

Wife Wanted Husband Murdered While Trick-or-Treating: Police 12/2/2016 A Spokane Valley, Washington woman is behind bars after detailing multiple plots to kill her husband for life insurance money.

Holland woman who had ex-boyfriend murdered for $1.2 million windfall loses appeal 05/19/2016

Fla. Arson and Insurance Fraud Arrest 05/20/2016

Tx. Man arrested for insurance fraud following house fire 11/22/2016

Kemper County Mississippi man charged with arson, fraud 10/13/2016

Clarksburg WV woman accused of insurance fraud in 2013 fire 08/05/2016 A 30-year-old Clarksburg woman has been charged with felony insurance fraud in connection with a May 19, 2013, fire that destroyed an Enterprise home and killed a dog, a Harrison sheriff’s sergeant said.

9 Extreme Insurance Schemers of 2015 Chosen

Minneapolis man who killed mom over imagined bedbug infestation wants her life insurance money 12/12/2016

Philippine police collar army reservist Kirby Patricio Tan linked to insurance murders of two Japanese 01/15/2017

Uloma Walker-Curry had husband killed to collect insurance: prosecutor 09/14/2015

Tennessee woman who went to prison for murdering mother for insurance maintains she's innocent 03/24/2017