WILKES-BARRE — A man from Pittston was arraigned Monday on insurance fraud charges alleging he provided false information about a vehicle crash two years ago.
Bruce Joshua Carey, 30, of Morgan Lane, filed a claim with Progressive Insurance Company on Jan. 15, 2016, indicating he struck a deer on state Route 309 in Butler Township that damaged his Jeep. Pictures of the damage taken on an iPhone were sent to Progressive.
A Progressive official sent a fraud referral to the state Office of Attorney General after noticing alleged inconsistencies in Carey’s statement.
According to the criminal complaint:
Carey had a lapse in vehicle insurance coverage from Dec. 24, 2015 to Jan. 14, 2016, when he renewed the policy.
A day later, Jan. 15, 2016, Carey filed a claim with Progressive indicating he struck a deer that resulted in damage to his Jeep. Carey submitted pictures of the damage and claimed he had an independent witness not known to him.
Carey obtained an estimate for the damage that totaled $4,583.34.
A special agent allegedly learned pictures of the damage had an embedded time stamp of 10:19 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2016, and the pictures were taken on state Route 61 in Northumberland County. Carey’s witness to the accident turned out to be his girlfriend, who has not been charged.
The investigator searched the phone number provided by Carey for the witness, and found the witness’ Facebook page. The witness indicated on her Facebook account that she was in a relationship with Carey, the complaint says.
Carey’s girlfriend allegedly told the investigator a deer struck Carey’s Jeep on Route 61.
Carey was arraigned by District Judge Rick Cronauer in Wilkes-Barre on charges of falsely filing an insurance claim, criminal use of communication facility and criminal attempt to commit theft. He was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.