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

ISSUED 5/18/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DUTCHESS COUNTY MAN ACCUSED OF PAYING TO HAVE CAR BURNED

A Dutchess County man will appear in Orange County Court on June 16 for a hearing on a charge that he paid two unknown individuals $400 to steal and burn his car so he could collect on insurance, the New York State Insurance Department reported.

Luis A. Galarza, of Carmella Lane, Beacon was arrested May 10 as the result of an investigation by the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau.

Investigators discovered that New York City police impounded Galarza’s 2003 Honda Civic after they found it burned, a week before Galarza contacted Newburgh police to report the car stolen.

GEICO Insurance Company declined to pay the insurance claim Galarza filed. No other arrests have been made as a result of the incident which occurred last August.

Galarza was charged with third degree insurance fraud. He entered a not guilty plea when he was arraigned. He could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if he is convicted.

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