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

ISSUED 11/02/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO LEADS TO AUBURN MAN’S ARREST FOR FRAUD

Video surveillance images led to the arrest of an Auburn man accused of pouring soda onto the floor of a convenience store so he could stage a slip and fall accident.

The New York State Insurance Department reported that Charles E. Barnes Sr., 48, of State Street was arrested Oct. 20 for staging an accident so he could file an insurance claim for a purported back injury.

Investigators from the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau say video from surveillance cameras inside an Express Mart show Barnes deliberately pouring soda onto the floor. The video then shows Barnes lying on the floor until customers and store employees come to his aid.

Barnes filed a claim with the store’s insurer, Travelers Property and Casualty Insurance Company, after the incident in January. He later withdrew the claim.

He was arrested for insurance fraud and falsifying business records. He could be sentenced to up to four years in prison if he is convicted. Auburn police assisted in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by the office of Cayuga County District Attorney Jon E. Budelmann.

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