Trout Run, Pa. – A Trout Run man was charged for allegedly making a fraudulent claim to his automobile insurance to fix damage from an accident that a previous insurer had already paid for.
According to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Michael C. Stugart, 55, of 702 Slacks Run Road, filed the fraudulent claim with Liberty Mutual on October 2, 2018. Stugart reportedly told the insurance company that damage occurred to his 2008 Chevrolet Impala after he hit a deer in Trout Run. He reported that the front driver’s side, hood and undercarriage were damaged in the crash, according to court documents.
Stugart had obtained the policy on October 1, 2018, just one day prior to him filing the claim. Several days later, Stugart obtained a damage estimate of $3,647.42 from Murray Mazda Collision Center in Hughesville, according to court documents.
Upon investigating the claim, Liberty Mutual found that Stugart’s previous insurer, Progressive, paid a claim for the same damage on May 8, 2018. Stugart reportedly told investigators he purchased parts from an auto wrecker and fixed the vehicle in May of 2018, according to court documents. Liberty Mutual notified Stugart on October 29, 2018 that they were denying payment of his claim.
Felony charges of false/fraudulent/incomplete insurance claim and criminal attempt were filed at the office of District Magistrate Gary A. Whiteman. Bail was set at $15,000. Stugart’s case was waived for court. Formal arraignment is scheduled for October 7 at Lycoming County Courthouse.