N.Y. Charges Boxer in Family-Run Staged Accident Scam

March 17, 2006

A boxer was charged this week with fraud, accused days before a big fight of participating in a family ring that staged minor car crashes and made false insurance claims.

Frank Houghtaling, his brother, sister-in-law, father, wife and another woman were named in a sealed indictment after a two-year investigation, prosecutors said. Authorities the alleged 30 to 40 incidents typically involved unwitting drivers of other vehicles in fender benders.

The 32-year-old welterweight from suburban Albany headlines a boxing card Friday night against former Canadian champion Hercules Kyvelos in Albany. Promoter Lisa Elovich said she expects the fight to go on.

Houghtaling (19-9-5, 4 KOs) and Kyvelos (22-2, 11 KOs) are scheduled for eight rounds in the main event at the Washington Avenue Armory.

Also charged were Rhonda Houghtaling, 34, of Colonie; Joseph Houghtaling, 36, and his wife, Renee Houghtaling, 34, of Colonie; Alfred Houghtaling, 57, of Selkirk; and Brenda Warner, 38, of Colonie, according to District Attorney David Soares.

All were arraigned Wednesday on charges of insurance fraud, falsifying business records, grand larceny and conspiracy. They were freed on bail.

The indictment also alleges enterprise corruption. It names two other people who were not immediately arrested, said Rachel McEneny, spokeswoman for Soares.

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