MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – Police arrested two fugitives living in Murrells Inlet, one who pleaded guilty in what was alleged to be a multimillion-dollar insurance scam in 1992.
Police say Warren and Frances Berkle, who are wanted out of several states, were living under false names and were possibly squatting in a Murrells Inlet home. Police received a call from a homeowner who said the two were behind in their lease/purchase payment and she had to issue an eviction notice. She told police she believed the two “were not who they say they are, and were possibly squatting in her house.”
Police stopped Warren Berkle, 69, in his car on Thursday when he was leaving the neighborhood. He had an expired plate out of Florida, no insurance and an international driver’s license, both of which were not in his name, police said. A background check found Berkle had a valid license in Maryland and was wanted with full extradition. A check also found Frances Berkle, 69, was wanted out of Florida and Pennsylvania, police said.
According to an article in the Baltimore Sun, Warren Berkle pleaded guilty in 1992 to conspiracy to sell worthless insurance policies and mail fraud. Prosecutors said about 800 policies were sold and premiums collected without state approval, and the company used false records to avoid orders to cease doing business.
Warren Berkle was one of three accused in what authorities believe added up to a multimillion-dollar insurance scam. The prosecutor said only four of the policies were sold by Berkle, who agreed to cooperate, the Sun reported.
Horry County police charged Warren Berkle with forgery, more than $10,000; obtaining a signature or property under false pretense, value $5,000 or more; operating a vehicle without registration and operating an uninsured vehicle. He is being held in the J. Reuben Long Detention Center as a fugitive.
Frances Berkle is being held in J. Reuben Long Detention Center without bail as a fugitive. It is unknown at this time what charges are on her record.
Count on News13 for more as we work to gather information.