West Virginia Man Admits Staging Crashes, Filing Claims

December 5, 2011

A Buckhannon man has pleaded guilty to defrauding insurance companies by staging vehicle accidents and filing fake claims.

Forty-two-year-old Christopher John Thrain pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud earlier this week before U.S. Magistrate John Kaull in Clarksburg.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld says Thrain is an auto body repair specialist who talked people into staging accidents. Thrain and others would then file false claims with their insurance companies.

Thrain admitted in court that he used the federal postal system to obtain a check for more than $2,700 as part of that scheme.

Thrain is free on bond but faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when sentenced.

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