BOISE — A Jerome man will spend at least two months in jail and five years on probation after he provided a false date of a crash to an insurance company to get benefits.
Nicolas Thorne’s vehicle was hit from behind by another vehicle on Dec. 14, 2017, a statement from the Idaho Department of Insurance said. Thorne and the driver of the other vehicle conspired to commit a “crash and buy,” where an insurance policy is purchased after the date of the crash, the department said. The following day, a new insurance policy was purchased from Sentry Insurance and two hours later, Thorne filed a claim and falsified the date of the crash.
Thorne, 27, and the other driver — who was not named in statements from the insurance department or the attorney general’s office but has criminal charges pending against him — both admitted to investigators that the crash happened before the claim was filed, the insurance department said.
Thorne pleaded guilty to felony insurance fraud in December, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said in a statement.
Judge Rosemary Emory sentenced Thorne Monday to 60 days in jail, 150 hours of community service and five years of probation. If he fails to comply, he could face two to five years in prison. He was also ordered to pay $1,260.81 in restitution to the Idaho Department of Insurance, $1,943 to Sentry Insurance and court costs.
“Insurance fraud is a serious issue. Besides violating the law, it costs Idahoans hundreds of dollars each month in higher premiums,” insurance department Director Dean Cameron said in a statement. “I am proud of our DOI investigators in helping to fight against fraud, enforcing the law and protecting the hard earned money of Idahoans.”
Deputy Attorney General Jessica Cafferty in the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted the case.
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