TEXARKANA, Ark. — A warrant has been issued for the owner of Texarkana Tire and Wheel for alleged insurance fraud.
Terry Tussey Jr., 34, is accused of submitting a fraudulent invoice to an insurance company for work he allegedly never performed, according to an affidavit attached to a warrant filed by an investigator with the Arkansas Insurance Department's Criminal Investigation Division in Miller County circuit court.
A woman whose car was damaged in April last year when a tree branch fell from a trailer in front of her as she traveled on U.S. Highway 67 sought repairs to her radiator and front air deflector at Texarkana Tire and Wheel. The damage to the car was estimated by an appraiser at $918 with a $500 deductible on her policy with Trexis Insurance.
The affidavit states that a check for $418 was issued to Texarkana Tire and Wheel in Texarkana, Ark., for the necessary repair work. Tussey allegedly sent an invoice May 8 to Trexis seeking $2,609.62 for "alleged AC work and towing," the affidavit states. When interviewed by Insurance Department Investigator James Kulesa, Tussey allegedly claimed he performed repairs on the car and confirmed receipt of the $418 from Trexis.
Tussey allegedly told the investigator that the woman's car had been towed by Twin City Towing.
"When asked about the AC freon, Tussey stated the work was 'farmed out' to Auto Tech and he would later provide an invoice," the affidavit states.
Tussey allegedly promised to locate invoices pertaining to the work performed on the woman's car and forward them to the investigator. According to the affidavit dated Jan. 7, Tussey never provided any invoices to the Arkansas Insurance Department investigator.
The owner of Auto Tech could not find any record that his shop performed work on the woman's car and Twin City Towing could find no record that business ever towed the woman's car, the affidavit alleges.
Court records show Miller County Circuit Judge Brent Haltom signed off Tuesday on a warrant for Tussey's arrest on a charge of insurance fraud. Court records show the warrant as outstanding.
Arkansas Insurance Department Public Information Officer Ryan James said the agencies criminal investigators are certified law enforcement officers and that the Criminal Investigation Division also includes special prosecutors who are available to manage or assist insurance-related criminal matters across the state.