Md. Man Convicted in Auto Insurance Caper

April 22, 2005

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced that Hugh O. Whitaker, Jr., of Severn, Maryland was convicted of felony insurance fraud and driving while uninsured in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County on April 19, 2005.

The conviction follows a joint investigation conducted by the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration and the Office of the Attorney General. The Anne Arundel Sheriff ‘s Office had employed Whitaker as a civilian employee and he was under consideration for appointment as a deputy sheriff.

He had been charged with engaging in a continuing course of conduct between May 20, 2004 and July 22, 2004 in which he knowingly presented false information to the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund in an attempt to support a false claim for $4,064.96, and for operating a motor vehicle on May 18, 2004 without the legally required automobile insurance coverage.

Evidence presented by the prosecutor included that on May 18, 2004 Whitaker was driving when he was involved in an automobile accident. At the time that the accident occurred Whitaker reportedly did not have the legally required insurance coverage for the vehicle that he was operating.

Whitaker reportedly applied for automobile insurance coverage from the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund on May 20, 2004, two days after the accident. He failed to disclose the accident from two days earlier on his application and he failed to present his vehicle for inspection as required by the application process. Whitaker was granted insurance coverage contingent on his presenting his vehicle for inspection on a later date.

Five days later, on May 25, 2004, Whitaker reportedly contacted the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund and falsely reported that he was involved in an automobile accident on May 22 and that his vehicle was being repaired. He repeated the false statement that the accident occurred on May 22 during a taped statement that he made to the insurance adjuster on July 22, 2004. The cost of repairing damage caused by the accident was $4,064,96. The Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund denied the claim.

The Honorable Nancy Davis-Loomis sentenced Whitaker to three years imprisonment and suspended the execution of the sentence in favor of two years of probation and imposed a fine of $1,000.00.

Judge Davis-Loomis ordered that Whitaker complete 100 hours of community service within six months as a special condition of probation.

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