Insurer seeks repayment of fire proceeds after policyholder admits to arson

Kelly Holleran Oct. 3, 2011, 6:00am

An insurance company is attempting to regain the more than $60,000 it paid to its insureds after it discovered the insureds set fire to their home.

Texas Farm Bureau Underwriters filed a lawsuit Aug. 19 in Jefferson County District Court against Brent and Corey Wise.

In its complaint, Texas Farm Bureau Underwriters alleges it issued a policy to Brent and Ambra Wise for their property at 7890 San Anselmo in Beaumont.

According to the complaint, Brent Wise allegedly told Corey Wise to burn down his property on Sept. 6, 2007. Later, Texas Farm Bureau Underwriters paid Brent Wise $2,000 for living expenses after he claimed to have no involvement in the arson, the suit states. In addition, it paid Brent Wise $60,000 in policy benefits, the complaint says.

After Texas Farm Bureau Underwriters paid Brent Wise the money, he and Corey Wise admitted to conspiring to set the fire, the insurance company claims.

Since then, the Wises have promised to repay Texas Farm Bureau Underwriters the money paid following the arson, but have failed to do so, according to the complaint.

Texas Farm Bureau Underwriters alleges breach of contract, fraud, civil conspiracy and unpaid debt against the Wises.

It seeks actual, punitive and exemplary damages, plus attorneys' fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law and other relief the court deems just.

Eric Paul Edwardson of Beaumont will be representing it.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D190-699

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