Ill. Mom, Son Duo Destroy Family Car in Insurance Fraud Scam

April 13, 2006

An Orland Park, Ill. mother and her 19-year-old son are accused of destroying a family car then reporting it stolen to collect insurance money.

Janet L. Hurta, 50, was charged with felony insurance fraud, police said. Her son, Matthew C. Hurta, 19, of the same address, was charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor. Matthew Hurta reported his mother’s car stolen March 30, police said.

Janet Hurta told police the vehicle, a 1977 Chevrolet Camaro, was parked in her driveway at 10 p.m. March 29 but was missing the next day. She told police she contacted her two sons to be sure they did not move the car, and then told them to call police and report it stolen.

During the investigation, police said, they found dismantled car parts in the Hurta residence. “We believe they cut up and destroyed the vehicle,” Orland Park police Cmdr. Chuck Doll said. “We don’t know what happened to the rest of the vehicle.” The parts recovered include the engine and the transmission.

Janet Hurta’s other son was not charged.

Doll said crimes like this alleged one cause insurance rates to go up and people to feel vulnerable.

“If they hadn’t been charged, then the fact that they reported their car stolen would make others feel like they can’t park in their driveways,” he said. “And people think doing this with insurance is no big deal, but it definitely is.”

Both Janet Hurta and Matthew Hurta were released on bond. Janet Hurta is set to return to court in Bridgeview on April 28. No court date has been set for Matthew Hurta.

Source: Coalition Against Insurance Fraud

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