New York Man Charged with Insurance Fraud After False Stolen Vehicle Claim

November 5, 2019

A 36-year-old Queens, N.Y., man has been charged with insurance fraud, attempted grand larceny and other crimes for allegedly claiming his McLaren sports car had been stolen and filing a false insurance claim in an attempt to recoup $160,000.

In reality, the defendant accidentally crashed his own car on October 5, 2019, and allegedly walked away from the scene and the damaged vehicle.

“The defendant in this case figured he would cash in rather than take responsibility for a costly crash,” said Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan in a press release issued by his office. “The defendant – caught in his tracks – is now facing prison time for his greed.”

The District Attorney’s Office identified the defendant as Gaston Castro of the Forest Hills neighborhood in Queens. Castro was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Toni Cimino on a complaint charging him with second-degree insurance fraud, third-degree attempted grand larceny, making a punishable false written statement and third-degree falsely reporting an incident.

According to the charges, on October 5, 2019, Castro filed a police report with the 107 NYPD Police Precinct claiming the light blue car had been stolen from its parking spot outside his home. The vehicle, which was found in the brush off a road in Nassau County, was recovered by the police and Castro was informed.

On October 7, 2019, Castro allegedly filed a claim with GEICO Insurance for the “stolen” vehicle in an effort to collect the total cost of the vehicle, which he had purchased in 2018 for $160,000. According to the complaint, Castro later admitted that the car had not been stolen. He allegedly said in sum and substance that he had been involved in a collision and left the scene of the crash.

Judge Cimino released Castro on his own recognizance and ordered him back to court on December 2, 2019. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. A criminal complaint is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Source: Queens District Attorney’s Office

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