Iowa woman fakes neighbor’s death for life insurance: feds

Now the 37-year-old Iowa woman has been sentenced to prison, authorities said.

Now the 37-year-old Iowa woman has been sentenced to prison, authorities said.

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A woman secretly added herself to her neighbor’s life insurance policy, then faked the Iowa neighbor’s death so she could steal death benefits, authorities said.

Kimberly Nicole Hollingshed, of Muscatine, fraudulently received about $100,139 from the life insurance company in April 2022, according to a March 9 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

She used that money to buy a 2014 Buick Encore, a 2008 Jeep Liberty and a 2008 Hummer H3, according to Hollingshed’s plea agreement that she signed in November.

Now the 37-year-old woman has been sentenced to 24 months in prison on a count of wire fraud, court records show.

The defense attorney representing Hollingshed did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News on March 10.

Federal authorities said Hollingshed accessed the neighbor’s life insurance policy in February 2022, then she added an online profile without her neighbor’s permission.

“With online account access, Hollingshed made changes to the victim’s policy and added herself as a policy beneficiary,” officials said.

Once Hollingshed was listed as a beneficiary, in April, authorities said she told the life insurance company that her neighbor died and started the process to claim her death benefits.

The insurance company required a copy of the woman’s death certificate before processing the claim, according to the plea agreement.

As her neighbor hadn’t actually died, the woman provided a forged Iowa certificate of death, prosecutors said. She started with a real death certificate belonging to a 96-year-old Iowa woman who died in 2017, but changed the name, cause of death, location of death and other details, according to court records.

The insurance company processed the claim, and the

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What you need to know about life insurance

CAMBRIDGE, Wis. — A Call for Action from a local mother might have you thinking about what your own family needs to make sure your loved ones are taken care of in case of an unexpected death.

Audrey DiMaggio-Fiore lost her son Nicholas to an untimely death at age 26 in the spring. She describes him as a light in her life — a lover of football, high school prom king, a poet. These days, she’s on his past work and signs from above to get her through new challenges since he’s been gone. One of those challenges, most recently, involves collecting his life insurance.

When going through things at his apartment, DiMaggio-Fiore found a packet of information that appeared to confirm Nick should have had a policy through his place of work for more than a year prior to his death, OSI Manufacturing in Fort Atkinson. When she touched base with the company, however, she heard something different.

“If he’s in the union, he doesn’t have insurance,” she says she was told. “If he’s not in the union, he does have insurance.”

We talked to representatives for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1473 Union.

They told us every employee at OSI — except for managers — is in the union, meaning every employee is required to pay for their life insurance benefit. The cost is roughly four cents a paycheck; it’s just a matter of knowing you need to sign up. Audrey says her son probably didn’t.

The union is providing Nick’s family with a $4,000 accidental death benefit, and it agreed to make sure union benefits are communicated to OSI employees effectively.

“I think there are many young people that go into the work world, and they don’t know what questions to ask,” DiMaggio-Fiore said.

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