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Eric R. Dinallo   Superintendent of Insurance  25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 07/29/2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

ALBANY WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO INSURANCE FRAUD

An Albany woman who removed personal belongings from her home the day before fire damaged the dwelling pleaded guilty on July 21 to insurance fraud and falsifying business records for attempting to obtain a $38,000 payment under her renter’s insurance policy.

Kim M. Laporte, 39, of 1 Cardinal Ave., entered the plea before Judge George R. Bartlett III in Schoharie County Court. She could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.

Laporte was arrested by Investigator Phil D’Angelo, of the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, and Rich Bialkowski, of the Cobleskill Police Department, following an investigation into an April 2007 fire at the home where she previously resided in the Town of Cobleskill.

The Schoharie County Arson Task Force found that Laporte had moved many of her personal belongings out of the two-story frame structure the day before the fire. The Task Force is still investigating the cause of the fire at 108 Mallard Lane. In addition, insurance investigators found that Laporte had falsified an earlier claim for damages resulting from the collapse of a garage on the property.

Laporte was released on $5,000 bail pending a Sept. 10 court appearance.

“The Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau provides invaluable assistance in bringing those who commit insurance fraud to justice. The Department is able to help the district attorney’s office prosecute cases when additional resources are required. We truly appreciate the Department’s tireless efforts,” said Schoharie County District Attorney James Sackett.

“The Insurance Department is committed to prosecuting cases of insurance fraud and we will continue to do so to protect the citizens of New York and discourage those who would commit fraud in the future,” said Steven Nachman, Deputy Superintendent for Fraud and Consumer Services.

William P. Andrews, Assistant Counsel with the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, assisted District Attorney Sackett in the investigation.

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