A man authorities say participated in a series of staged auto accidents in Lawrence in an effort to defraud insurers has been sentenced to nine months in prison.
Leo Lopez was also also ordered Monday to pay nearly $56,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to 36 charges stemming from six staged accidents between January 2002 and March 2003.
Since a staged crash in 2003 in Lawrence killed a 65-year-old woman, the state has cracked down on auto insurance fraud, particularly in Lawrence, the epicenter of the problem.
Police Chief John Romero says prison time is an appropriate punishment.
He tells the Eagle-Tribune the success the city has had prosecuting auto insurance fraud cases since 2003 has resulted in an average decrease of $600 per car in insurance premiums.
Information from: Eagle Tribune
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