This case of a guilty verdict for insurance fraud involves a husband and wife team. The husband is a former police officer and the wife is a special education teacher. Many people may see both as underpaid jobs and this couple decided to add to their income inappropriately. A felony charge was brought against them due to a fire at their home in 2010 and they pleaded guilty. In addition to that, there is a pending arson charge from another fire in 2011.
According to an article in the Finger Lakes Times, the couple was in Ontario County Court where they gave a plea of guilty on the 16th of January to third-degree insurance fraud. A district attorney, R. Michael Tantillo, stated that for one year they will have interim probation and are required to pay restitution of about $12,000 to their insurance company during that year.
In one statement by Tantillo he said that, “This resolves part of the case but not all. The arson still remains, and we consider that very serious because of the potential hazard to other people.”
It was in April of last year that the charges of insurance fraud were brought against them by a grand jury. The first fire at their home was not ruled as being arson, but Tantillo said that they were accused of offering false claims to their insurer and thereby defrauding the company. He went on to say that the couple did relocate after the first fire but claimed to have living expenses during that time. It turns out that they had been staying with relatives but had not paid them any rent. The result was a guilty verdict.
As for the second fire, the wife is the one being accused of starting it on purpose and has been given a charge of third-degree arson. The trial has been schedule for later in the year.
The husband did not receive any of the blame for the 2nd fire in 2011, but he did give a plea of guilty to misdemeanor conduct. This stems from forged letters he used to avoid being deployed to Iraq.
Tantillo said that during the husband’s employment as a police officer he was also serving in the National Guard. In 2003, the husband’s letters had a forged signature of the Police Chief of Clifton Springs. Written in the letters was a request that the National Guard not send the husband to Iraq because he was needed by the police department.
In response to the husband’s guilty plea Tantillo said, “We were glad to see the guilty plea for official misconduct, although it was outside the statute of limitations. That was very offensive conduct on his part.”
In February of last year the husband, on his own, left the employment of the Clifton Springs Police Department. Also last year, his wife was dismissed from her teaching position and placed on an alternative administration assignment. Aside from the husband’s misconduct, this couple has really gotten themselves into trouble. Insurance companies take fraud very seriously. With this guilty verdict, the couple now owes $12,000! That’s a lot of money to have to return and the arson case has yet to be resolved. Submitting claims to an insurance company in order to receive some extra income may be tempting but in the long run it just isn’t worth it to pay the price later on.
At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919. We would very much like to have you as one of our customers. Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.