A former Shreveport police officer and two others were sent behind bars this week for trying to fraud money out of an insurance company.
It started with a stolen SUV in October 2009 found burned in Caddo Parish near Blanchard, but it all turned out to be a set up. Former Shreveport police officer Aisha Barnes reported the vehicle stolen to the Shreveport Police Department where she was employed at the time. Authorities found the vehicle burned 30 minutes after the initial report was made.
Barnes went even further filing a claim with her auto insurance carrier. At that point, the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud Unit began an investigation.
During the investigation, Barnes, her brother Thomas Williams and friend Kaneesha Knuckles admitted to detectives about their involvement in the crime. All three were arrested Wednesday, June 8.
Barnes resigned from her position with the Shreveport Police Department shortly after she was put on administrative leave pending an internal investigation after the initial incident.
Detectives said Barnes told them she needed the money to pay her debt, which state police said is all too common.
"A large percent of these cases are in fact motivated by greed, motivated by money, people who are actually trying to recoup their losses, those who are seeking financial gain in an attempt to pay off or gain some type of finances as a result of their fraudulent actions," said Louisiana State Trooper Cordell Williams.
State police say they are aggressive towards those who try to defraud insurance companies because it is not a cheap crime. Williams said many people think this offense is a victimless crime, however insurance fraud has cost us billions of dollars annually.