Mich. finds fraud in car insurance certificates


LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan secretary of state says fraud has emerged as a significant problem for motorists registering their cars.

Ruth Johnson vowed a crackdown during a news conference today in Lansing, Mich.. She says fake insurance certificates have turned up in more than half of Michigan’s 83 counties.

Her office has suspended at least 4,300 vehicle registrations this year because the certificates weren’t legitimate, compared with 431 in all of 2011.

Drivers need proof of no-fault insurance to get a license plate or annual sticker. Johnson says the problem became clear after a new Michigan law required insurance companies to verify coverage to her office twice monthly.

The Eaton County prosecutor’s office has filed charges in a case where insurance was advertised on Craigslist with the warning, “use at your own risk.”