WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - A former employee of the Metropolitan Police Department was sentenced to 78 days in jail on Wednesday for accepting more than $40,000 in bribes in exchange for providing personal information on traffic crash victims and for carrying out a separate scheme involving insurance fraud.
Kendra Coles, 46, of Beltsville, Md., pleaded guilty in March 2019 to one count each of bribery of a public official and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
The judge also placed her on three years of probation and she is also required to pay more than $6,000 in restitution to an insurance carrier as well as a $40,000 forfeiture money judgment.
According to the government’s evidence, Coles began work for the Metropolitan Police Department in 2006 as a customer service representative. In late 2012, she became a staff assistant and was assigned to the Patrol Services and School Safety Bureau.
Coles was in that position when, in approximately 2015, she conspired with two individuals who were "runners" who were in the business of connecting lawyers and accident victims.
These "runners" were able to identify potential clients by obtaining police reports of recent traffic accidents.
The "runners" began paying Coles cash in exchange for her providing the crash reports, to which she had access due to her employment at MPD.
Specifically, one "runner" paid Coles approximately $400 to $500 per week and another "runner" paid her approximately $350 per week. Over the two years she engaged in the scheme, Coles received more than $40,000 from at least two "runners."
An audit conducted by MPD revealed that between June 1, 2017 and October 6, 2017, alone, Coles had accessed Traffic Crash Reports 3,367 times.
The investigation is continuing. One of the "runners," Marvin Parker, 62, of Silver Spring, Md., pleaded guilty to a bribery charge and was sentenced in January 2020 to 18 months in prison.
In a separate scheme, Coles committed insurance fraud. In late June 2017, her car required between $1,000 and $2,400 for parts and an additional $700 for labor. In addition, Coles owed $1,505 to the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles for unpaid parking tickets and fees.
Rather than incur these costs, Coles conspired with a family friend to have the car "disappear" so she could file an insurance claim. In furtherance of her scheme, on July 31, 2017, Coles abandoned her car and her co-conspirator set it on fire.
After filing a false theft report, Coles collected more than $1,000 from her insurance carrier.