Investigators of the Year are named

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The 2004 Marine Investigators of the Year were named at this year’s International Association of Marine Investigators (IAMI) Conference recently held in West Palm Beach, Fla., BoatU.S. said in a release this morning.

The two honorees, Jacqueline Hayes of Seaworthy Insurance Company in Alexandria, Va., and Edwin Sparkman of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in Chicago, were honored for their work in a case involving a stolen 24-foot power boat.

Hayes was handling a routine boat insurance application when she noticed a discrepancy in the vessel’s hull identification number. Hayes, who had completed her IAMI training in marine theft investigation just weeks earlier, believed the application might be fraudulent, and alerted Sparkman at the NICB.

Sparkman learned that boat had been reported stolen five years earlier by Travelers Insurance Company. An investigation was launched, and a few weeks later the person applying for the insurance policy was arrested and charged with one count of receiving stolen property and one count of trafficking stolen property. The suspect is awaiting trial, BoatU.S. said.

“This case is an outstanding example of the aggressive pursuit of insurance fraud and the benefits of our association’s training,” said Karlton Kilby, president of IAMI.

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