Mass. Family, Auto Shop Owner Parked for Allegedly Attempting to Steal $50,000 Through Auto Fraud Scam

April 29, 2004

A mother and son and the owner of a Stoughton, Massachusetts auto body repair shop have been indicted on charges they allegedly conspired to inflate damages to a BMW convertible and then attempted to defraud an insurance company of $50,000, Attorney General Tom Reilly announced.

Filomena Joaquim Fontes, 46, of Brockton and her son, Timilty Fontes Veiga, 23, of Taunton, along with Anthony Damaral, 56, of Brockton, were indicted recently by a Suffolk County grand jury on one count each of motor vehicle insurance fraud, attempted larceny over $250, conspiracy to commit motor vehicle insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit larceny over $250. The three are scheduled to be arraigned on May 18 in Suffolk Superior Court.

The indictments stem from a July 2003 insurance claim filed by Fontes and Veiga. Fontes was the insured owner of a 2001 BMW M3 convertible valued at $50,000.

According to statements made to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Fontes and Veiga claimed that the BMW was damaged in a hit-and-run accident that occurred while the vehicle was parked overnight on a Dorchester street corner. Both Fontes and Veiga claimed that the BMW was towed directly to Tony’s Auto Body in Stoughton, which is owned by Damaral.

A Liberty Mutual appraiser inspected the car at Tony’s Auto Body and, based on its condition, concluded that it was a total loss. As a result, Fontes, as the insured owner, would have received nearly $50,000 in insurance proceeds.

Further investigation revealed however that prior to service at Tony’s Auto Body in Stoughton, the BMW had originally been towed to a Weymouth auto body repair shop. That shop’s owner allegedly informed investigators that the car had moderate body damage when it was towed to his shop, but was not a total loss. Veiga allegedly asked the shop owner to inflict additional damage to the BMW so as to make it a total loss for insurance purposes. When the body shop owner refused Veiga’s request to inflict additional damage to the car, Veiga had the BMW towed to Tony’s Auto Body in Stoughton.

The investigation revealed that additional damages were inflicted to the BMW while it was being stored at Tony’s Auto Body.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company denied the claim for insurance proceeds.

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