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

ISSUED 08/15/2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

TWO DELAWARE COUNTY RESIDENTS ACCUSED OF INSURANCE FRAUD

Two Delaware County residents whose home was destroyed in a March 2007 fire were arrested Monday on charges that they forged receipts in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain an additional $30,400 as part of their insurance settlement.

Michael A. Kerwin Jr., 32, and Cheryl A. Catuzza, 41, both of 25 High St., Walton, were arrested by Senior Investigator Chris Lehenbauer of the Frauds Bureau of the New York State Insurance Department, assisted by Senior Investigator Karl Vagts of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.

Both Kerwin and Catuzza are charged with felony insurance fraud. They could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if convicted.

According to Lehenbauer, Kerwin and Catuzza filed a claim with Broome Cooperative Insurance Company for contents damaged or destroyed in the fire and were paid $37,000. Investigators said the defendants also sought payment of $30,400 for items they supposedly purchased to replace additional property lost in the fire. Authorities allege these replacement items were never purchased.

Kerwin and Catuzza were released in their own recognizance following their arraignment. They are scheduled to re-appear in Village of Walton Court on Sept. 11.

The office of Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup is prosecuting the case.

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