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Defendant also accused of defrauding Special K Fitness

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FARMINGTON — A Farmington woman with eight criminal cases involving fraud and drug charges faces new charges for allegedly forging a drug test, possessing methamphetamine and filing a second false insurance claim for $20,000 on an apartment fire.

Brittany Lanier, 31, is accused of a felony count of false insurance claim, possession of a controlled substance and forgery across three criminal cases, according to court documents.

Court documents state she changed her name from Brittany Cole.

The defendant now faces a total of 18 felony charges across eight cases in magistrate and district courts.

She has previously been accused of filing more than $21,000 in false insurance claims on a stolen laptop computer and for an Aztec apartment fire.

The defendant is also accused of defrauding Special K Fitness in Farmington of more than $11,500, according to The Daily Times archives.

Lanier did not have legal representation on Nov. 15.

False Insurance Claim

In a prior case, Lanier is accused of filing a false insurance claim for $20,000 with State Farm Insurance for a fire in her Aztec apartment.

A Farmington Police Department detective investigating the case found she started an insurance policy on Aug. 14 then filed a claim on the fire on Aug. 17.

It was determined from an incident report the fire occurred on Aug. 1, before she had the insurance policy.

A National Insurance Crime Bureau special agent contacted the detective on Sept. 25, stating they believed Lanier filed a false insurance claim with a second insurance company.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is a non-profit entity that investigates insurance theft or fraud.

The agent presented the detective with documentation on Nov. 8, which showed Lanier opened a policy with Homesite Indemnity Company on Aug. 9, then later reported the apartment fire on the day she opened the policy.

Homesite is the underwriter for Progressive Home Advantage, according to court documents.

The detective spoke with a person in the special investigations unit at Homesite on Nov. 13, who stated the policy was for $20,000.

Forgery

Court documents show on Oct. 23 in Farmington Magistrate Court, Lanier is accused of giving her former attorney Eric Morrow a piece of paper, stating it was a drug test, according to court documents.

Morrow briefly represented Lanier during this time, and the defendant is now awaiting assignment of a public defender, according to court records.

Morrow handed the paper to the prosecution, who told Morrow the paperwork appeared to be altered.

The paperwork was given to a detective to investigate, That document listed Reliance Medical Group in Farmington and stated the results were negative.

The detective learned the company did not conduct a drug test for Lanier, and an employee was concerned as the paperwork had the agency's information and its company name stamped on the document.

Drug Charge

Lanier was arrested at Nov. 8 at the Bank of America at 2200 E. Main St. on four outstanding warrants for failure to appear.

A Farmington officer found a small, rock-like substance in a bag the officer believed was meth.

Lanier is set for a Nov. 20 hearing in Farmington Magistrate Court on the drug and forgery charge.

A first appearance on the false insurance claim case is set for the morning of Nov. 18.

She is incarcerated at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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