Raleigh County man sentenced for federal fraud crimes

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Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 4:32 PM EDT
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Paul Richard Massey, 51, of Shady Spring, was sentenced for wire fraud and money laundering to one year and one day in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He is also being ordered to pay $862,871.29 in restitution.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Massey was employed as a claims adjuster for Allstate Insurance Company from 2015 until June 2019. Massey was routinely assigned claim files to investigate after Allstate customers filed claims under their insurance policies. Allstate authorized Massey to investigate assigned claims, determine coverage, and coordinate with insured customers and others to bring claims to conclusion. Allstate entrusted Massey to issue settlement check payments to policy holders and businesses on behalf of Allstate to settle insured property damage claims.

Massey admitted to authorizing and issuing a $15,110.29 check on behalf of Allstate to a business called American Mitigation Services LLC, also known as AMS Cleaning, on December 26, 2018. The check was issued for mitigation work allegedly performed by AMS Cleaning and was deposited into AMS Cleaning’s bank account. Massey admitted that this payment was fraudulent, as AMS Cleaning had completed no work to justify the payment. Massey further admitted that he had a business relationship with AMS Cleaning and was an authorized signer on the business’s bank account.

Massey also admitted that he authorized and issued 68 fraudulent claim payment checks totaling more than $850,000 on behalf of Allstate to AMS Cleaning from at least January 22, 2018, until at least June 19, 2019. Massey attempted to hide the fraudulent nature of some of these checks by creating fraudulent receipts and documents that appeared to justify the payments.

Massey used the fraudulent claims payments deposited in AMS Cleaning’s bank account to fund Massey Powersports LLC, a Beckley business owned and operated by Massey. The investigation revealed that Massey routinely wrote checks from AMS Cleaning’s bank account to pay Massey Powersports employees, to purchase inventory for Massey Powersports, and to pay Massey Powersports’ recurring bills. Massey admitted that on December 27, 2018, he wired $105,403.20 in fraudulently obtained proceeds from AMS Cleaning’s bank account to a North Carolina business to prepay for tractors intended for Massey Powersports.

Massey attempted to conceal his scheme from investigators.  Massey falsely told an Allstate fraud investigator that he had no financial interest in AMS Cleaning. In response to a federal grand jury subpoena, Massey created and submitted a fictitious $1 million contract purporting to show that AMS Cleaning was sold to a fictitious company prior to his scheme. Massey provided a detailed, false story to Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents claiming that AMS Cleaning was sold to this non-existent company.