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

ISSUED 03/25/2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FIRST OF THREE MEN IS SENTENCED FOR TORCHING PICKUP TRUCK

A 23-year-old Kingston man will serve five years’ probation for his part in setting fire to a pickup truck so another man could collect on a fraudulent insurance claim.

Anthony Waiters, 23, of Furnace St., was sentenced Monday in Ulster County Court. He was also ordered to pay a $630 fine and complete 10 days of community service. He pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and attempted arson in February.

Two other defendants in the case await sentencing. They are the owner of the vehicle, Mark Winkler, 36, of Violet Ave., Hyde Park, and Anthony Latty, 44, of Delano St., Poughkeepsie. Winkler earlier pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and is scheduled for sentencing April 2. Latty, who faces the most serious charges, is scheduled for sentencing April 22. He pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and attempted arson.

Winkler admitted in court that he had financial problems, so last September he offered Latty $1,000 to get rid of Winkler’s 2007 GMC Sierra pickup truck. Latty said he recruited Waiters to help him. The two drove the pickup to a rural area where they poured gasoline into the vehicle and set it on fire.

The burned vehicle was discovered by firefighters and police the next day, at about the same time that Winkler contacted sheriffs and State Farm Insurance Company to report that the pickup had been stolen.

Winkler submitted an insurance claim for the loss, but State Farm considered it to be suspicious. Instead of paying it, the company contacted authorities, prompting an investigation by the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, the Ulster County Urgent Task Force, Ulster police and Dutchess County sheriffs. The three men were later arrested.

The case was prosecuted by Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright and William Andrews of the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau, who served as a special assistant district attorney under the Department’s special prosecutor program. The Department lends experienced insurance frauds prosecutors to local counties to help investigate and prosecute insurance-related crimes under the program.

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