Mobile woman forged documents to falsely claim $13,000 in airbag class-action lawsuit

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A Mobile woman was sentenced in federal court Wednesday for falsely claiming personal injuries and vehicle damage from defective airbags.

The U.S. District Court sentenced Tracey Lanette Adams, 48, to three years of probation, 80 hours of community service, and a $1,000 fine for sending by mail a false claim for personal injuries and vehicle damage allegedly caused by defective Takata airbag inflators that sent shrapnel flying when they deployed.

According to court documents, Adams used pictures from the internet and altered medical records that she submitted by mail from Mobile to try to obtain over $13,000 from the Takata Individual Restitution Fund (TIRF). The TIRF was established in the Eastern of District of Michigan when Takata Corporation was sentenced for wire fraud.

In February 2017, the court there ordered that Takata Corporation pay $125,000,000 into a fund to compensate those injured or who would be injured by its defective airbag deflators. The Special Master appointed to administer the fund oversees the evaluation of claims seeking compensation.

Evaluators saw red flags as it considered Adams’s claim, including photographs Adams had altered from the internet that she said were of her and her injuries. When the TIRF denied her claim, she appealed and submitted once again the false documents and photographs. A face-to-face interview with the Mobile FBI confirmed she was not the person in the photographs and had not suffered the serious facial injuries depicted. Adams did not receive any compensation.

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