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

ISSUED 4/22/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TIOGA COUNTY CONTRACTOR ACCUSED OF INSURANCE FRAUD

A Tioga County contractor was arrested Tuesday after investigators discovered that he inflated an insurance claim in connection with damages resulting from a faulty plumbing fixture, the New York State Insurance Department reported.

State police at Owego arrested Joseph Watson, 70, of Owego, after an investigation by the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau.

Investigators said Watson filed a $7,800 claim with Chartis Insurance Company after he installed a faucet that proved to be defective and caused water damage to a house he was working on. He later admitted to investigators that the actual damages amounted to just $1,000. Chartis insures the manufacturer of the faucet.

Watson was charged with third degree insurance fraud. A hearing will be scheduled in Town of Owego Court.

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