Did FBI employees admit to insurance fraud?
On Thursday, in his continued effort to get his case dismissed, Michael Flynn filed a third brief supporting the original dismissal claim. This made waves because it included texts among FBI analysts in which they admitted that they knew the investigation against Michael Flynn was unfounded and driven by partisan animus. The text messages might have revealed more than that: one texter confessed that those involved bought professional liability insurance after becoming afraid that news might leak about their conduct. They might have committed insurance fraud if they didn't let the insurance companies know they had already committed wrongful acts.
There are multiple types of insurance fraud. Most people are familiar with cases in which people commit arson against their property or even murder someone to collect insurance.
Another form of insurance fraud takes place at the time of purchase. Insurance exists to cover against possible future incidents. A person cannot buy insurance to cover a known past incident. That's not insurance; that's just cost-shifting. If someone knowingly and intentionally "forgets" to tell the insurance company about an existing claim, and then seeks to recover on it, that's an actionable fraud. Indeed, it's a two-tiered fraud because there's fraud in both the purchase and the claim.
The elements of the action are going to be the same as they are for any fraud: the insurance applicant knowingly made a false or misleading statement, and the insurance company relied upon that false statement to its detriment.
As one insurance company explained to prospective purchasers:
When it comes to insurance, even a small lie can carry big consequences. In fact, if you are convicted of committing insurance fraud, you could end up paying enormous fines, doing months of community service, or even spending time behind bars. Insurance fraud is no laughing matter, so it's important to know what it is and how you can avoid it.
In the case of the FBI agents, Flynn's brief shows that they knew that the case against Flynn was baseless and, instead, was part of a political vendetta:
That's bad, but what's amazing is what happens next among the rank and file. They didn't use the protections of the whistleblower statute to report what was going on to the inspector general. They didn't quit their jobs and, perhaps, go public with their concerns. It seems that they didn't even challenge their superiors.
Instead, they bought liability insurance. The trigger for buying the insurance was their fear that the media might go public with the FBI's wrongdoing. That fear is rather funny because none realized that the media would stop at nothing to destroy Trump, even if it meant taking America down, too. They were also worried that a new attorney general could prosecute them and, perhaps, that General Flynn could sue:
You realize what this means: when "all the folks at the Agency" bought insurance, they did so because they were already convinced that they had engaged in wrongful conduct. It seems unlikely (although it is possible) that, when they applied for insurance, they confessed that their past wrongful conduct was why they wanted insurance. It's more reasonable to believe that these agency folks offered only generic reasons (such as a new administration raising risks) to justify the fact that, using taxpayer funds, they all rushed to get professional liability coverage.
If that supposition is correct — and it is only a supposition — there is a whole host of FBI employees who are guilty of insurance fraud. And if they made claims on those policies during the Durham investigation, they should be in a world of trouble.