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Floridian accused of fraud in boating death of husband

August 10, 2018, Jackson County, FL — Denise Williams, accused of the planning, cover-up and murder of her high school sweetheart Mike Williams more than 17 years ago, now faces prosecution for another serious crime – insurance fraud.

She was charged Thursday with three counts of insurance fraud related to $1,750,000 in claims she made after her husband disappeared. The 48-year-old has been held in jail since her arrest in May after a grand jury indicted her on three charges related to her husband’s killing.

Her arrest followed the stunning admission by Brian Winchester last year that he killed his best friend so he could be with Denise – his lover for three years - and cash in on Mike’s life insurance money. Winchester implicated her in the crime and cover-up and led law enforcement officials to where he buried Mike's body at the end of Gardner Road as part of an agreement that prevents him from being prosecuted for the murder.

Denise and Brian, who were longtime friends, married nearly five years to the day after Mike vanished, purportedly in a boating accident while ducking hunting alone on Lake Seminole in Jackson County. Denise Williams, who has pleaded innocent to all of the charges against her, says she had nothing to do with Mike Williams’ murder and Winchester acted alone.

But prosecutors contend she knew full well her husband's disappearance was no accident because she planned it.

The new insurance fraud allegations detail how Denise Williams began the insurance claims process a mere 11 days after her husband went missing, while a massive search for him at the lake was still underway. A Dec. 27, 2000, "notice of death" sent to the Kansas City Life Insurance company said the cause of Mike Williams' demise was "ducking hunting, disappear (fell out of boat), acc. drowning." The form is signed by Denise and Winchester's father, Marcus Winchester.

Days later on Jan. 4, 2001, the company received another statement - this time signed by Denise and Brian - asserting Mike died on Dec. 16, 2000, and asking that she be paid out immediately on a $250,000 policy Mike took out in 1995 and one for $1 million sold to him eight months before he was killed by Brian Winchester.

Source: Tallahassee Democrat

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