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Chatsworth : Lien Collector Pleads No Contest to Bribery

A Chatsworth lien collector was sentenced to four days in jail for trying to bribe a claims examiner with a video camera.

Mark Wiggins, who worked for the Chatsworth law offices of his brother, Walter F. Wiggins, pleaded no contest to the charge. In addition to the jail time, he was sentenced to serve 200 hours of community service, three years of probation and must pay a $500 fine, according to officials from the state Department of Insurance’s fraud division.

Mark Wiggins also was charged with one count of narcotics possession resulting from heroin found on him at the time of his arrest, according to a statement issued by the state Department of Insurance’s fraud division. Mark Wiggins was sentenced to complete a yearlong drug diversion program.

Wiggins was arrested Dec. 19 as a result of a sting operation conducted by Zenith National Insurance Co.'s special investigations unit and the Department of Insurance’s fraud division. Mark Wiggins reportedly contacted a Zenith claims examiner and offered a free video camera to expedite a lien settlement, Department of Insurance officials said.

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Working with state insurance investigators, the claims examiner was wired for audio and a surveillance van was positioned in the parking lot of a Woodland Hills restaurant where the two men were scheduled to meet, state officials said.

Wiggins and the examiner were recorded as they made the exchange, and Wiggins also offered the examiner cash to settle other liens, according to state officials.

At that time, state Department of Insurance fraud investigators made the arrest.


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