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

ISSUED 04/08/2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BUFFALO WOMAN ARRESTED FOR INSURANCE FRAUD

A Buffalo woman was arrested Monday after investigators charged that she falsely reported the theft of two shotguns and four custom automobile wheel rims from her home so she could file an insurance claim.

Cheektowaga police arrested Taniqua Simmons, 34, of Humboldt Parkway, following an investigation by David Hahn of the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau.

Simmons filed a police report stating that the shotguns and rims were stolen from her home on Nov. 3. Then she filed a claim with Allstate Insurance Company seeking payment of approximately $1,750 for the loss.

Investigators traced serial numbers Simmons provided in her police report to two shotguns that were in the possession of the Buffalo Police Department prior to the reported Nov. 3 theft. The firearms had been recovered by police in two earlier investigations unrelated to the insurance claim. Originally, police did not know the weapons belonged to Simmons, so they were never returned. It is not required to register shotguns in New York State. Simmons, who was never paid for the insurance claim, was also accused of falsifying information about the theft of the wheel rims.

Simmons was charged with insurance fraud and attempted grand larceny. She could be sentenced to up to three years in prison if convicted.

She was released pending a hearing to be scheduled in Cheektowaga Town Court. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John Doscher.

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