Police & Courts

Federal jury convicts Quincy resident of insurance fraud

Dean Mowen
By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Posted: Jan. 18, 2017 4:00 pm Updated: Jan. 18, 2017 4:45 pm

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Quincy resident Dean Mowen was found guilty Wednesday for his involvement in an insurance fraud scheme.

A federal jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning guilty verdicts on all counts against Mowen, 53.

U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough presided over the trial, which began Jan. 10. Mowen, of the 6900 block of Ellington Road, was allowed to remain on bond pending sentencing, scheduled for May 22.

Evidence presented by the government showed that in August 2015, Mowen and co-defendant David Speer traveled to Mississippi to buy farm equipment. Speer negotiated the purchase price on a New Holland 8970 tractor and a Case IH 2388 combine, and Mowen paid a local farmer about $30,000 cash for the machinery.

After the purchase, Mowen added a tractor and combine to his insurance policy at an estimated value of $108,000. Mowen and Speer then agreed that Speer would set the tractor and combine on fire, the prosecution said, and on Oct. 1, 2015, Speer did so.

The prosecution said Mowen then contacted his insurance company to report the estimated loss of $108,000. In response to the company's request for proof of payment for the tractor and combine, Mowen and Speer provided false receipts that exceeded the true value of the insured implements.

Speer, 68, of the 1500 block of North Fifth in Quincy, pleaded guilty in August 2016 to conspiracy to commit mail fraud as charged with Mowen.

In a separate case, Speer pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property for moving a Case IH 7250 tractor, taken by fraud, from Hancock county, Ill., to St. Charles County, Mo., in April 2014.

Speer has been detained since his arrest on June 1, 2016. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 27.

Mowen faces maximum penalties of up to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and up to 20 years in prison for the mail fraud.

Speer faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and up to 10 years in prison for interstate transportation of stolen property.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Crystal C. Correa and Gregory K. Harris prosecuted the case. The case was investigated by the West Central Illinois Task Force and the Quincy Police Department.

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