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

ISSUED 02/05/2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TWO FROM BUFFALO AREA ARRESTED FOR FALSE INSURANCE CLAIM

Two Buffalo area motorists who made-up the date of an auto accident so one of them could file a $1,640 insurance claim have been charged with insurance fraud and attempted grand larceny, the New York State Insurance Department reported.

Amanda Webb, 27, of Bloomfield Ave., Buffalo, surrendered to Depew police on Jan. 28 and Van Gilbert, 26, of Johnson St., Lackawanna, surrendered on Jan. 21. The arrests followed an investigation by David Hahn, of the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, and the special investigations unit of the Progressive Insurance Company.

Hahn said that Webb’s car accidentally struck a parked vehicle owned by Gilbert on July 17. Webb purchased auto insurance with Progressive and then filed a claim for damages after learning that her pervious policy with Allstate Insurance Company had been cancelled. Webb and Gilbert falsely told Progressive that the accident occurred on July 24, after Webb had purchased the policy. Progressive denied the claim after confirming the actual date of the accident.

If they are convicted, the two could be sentenced to up to three years in prison. They were released pending a hearing to be scheduled in Erie County Court. The case is being prosecuted by the office of Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.

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