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James J. Wrynn    Superintendent of Insurance    25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 2/10/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LITTLE FALLS FIREFIGHTER ARRESTED FOR PHONY CLAIM

A Little Falls firefighter who fabricated an insurance claim so he could pay for the construction of an $8,000 retaining wall was arrested Tuesday for fourth degree insurance fraud.

The New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau said Christopher Hendrie, 36, of East Monroe Street, was arrested after filing a phony damage claim under his homeowners’ policy with Allstate Insurance Company.

Investigators said that Hendrie filed the claim in June. He told Allstate that heavy rains caused the collapse of the stone wall in front of his home. However, an investigation revealed that Hendrie had a contractor replace an existing wall with a new one before filing the insurance claim. He filed the claim so he could pay the contractor after being turned down for a loan to finance the project.

Hendrie was arrested by Little Falls police. He was released pending a hearing scheduled Feb. 16 in Little Falls City Court. He could be sentenced to up to four years in prison if he is convicted.

The case is being prosecuted by Herkimer County District Attorney John Crandall.

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