Couple charged with life insurance fraud

May 26, 2010 at 4:48 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., May 26 (UPI) -- A Florida couple have been charged with an insurance swindle involving the burial of a man they knew under a false name.

Laura Freed, 43, and Michael Petro, 40, were arrested Sunday, the Orlando Sentinel reported. They have been released on $125,000 bail.

Investigators say Freed and Petro took out an insurance policy on the life of Racko Petro in 1998. In 2005, Billy Urich, 59, was admitted to Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center as the 34-year-old Racko and died there of kidney failure.

His doctors were puzzled because he appeared to be much older than 34, investigators say. But he was buried as Racko Petro in April.

Freed and Michael Petro allegedly collected $500,000 from Security Mutual Life Insurance Co., with Freed posing as Racko's widow.

Investigators have not said what the relationship was between Urich, Freed and Petro.

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