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For Immediate Release
February 17, 2004
Media Contact: 410-576-6357

BALTIMORE CITY POLICE OFFICER SENTENCED FOR INSURANCE FRAUD

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Lawrence A. Brunt, Jr., of Baltimore was sentenced February 12 in the Circuit Court of Frederick County for insurance fraud. Judge G. Edward Dwyer, Jr. sentenced Brunt to 18 months in jail, suspending that sentence in favor of supervised probation for one year. Brunt was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

Brunt, a Baltimore city police officer, was convicted November 10, 2003 of knowingly presenting false information to State Farm Insurance Companies in an attempt to support a false claim. The conviction and sentence followed a joint investigation by the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration and the Office of the Attorney General. Brunt had been suspended by the Baltimore City Police Department without pay since his indictment July 28, 2003.

Evidence presented by the prosecutor included that on February 22, 2003, Brunt reported to State Farm Insurance Companies that on February 16, 2003 while he was at a mall in Philadelphia, someone “keyed” (intentionally scratched) his sport utility vehicle and removed four chrome rims and tires from the vehicle. Brunt had purchased the chrome rims and tires on February 8, 2003 for $3,813.60. An inspection of Brunt’s vehicle by a State Farm Insurance Companies adjuster on February 25, 2003 found evidence that his vehicle had been scratched, but there was no evidence that the wheels and tires had been removed from the vehicle. In a statement Brunt gave to State Farm Insurance Companies on February 26, 2003, Brunt claimed that the chrome wheels and tires had not been mounted on the vehicle at the time of purchase, and that they had been taken from the inside of the vehicle. An investigator of the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration determined that the chrome rims and tires had been mounted by the vendor at the time of purchase. Additionally, the investigator observed Brunt’s vehicle on June 24, 2003 and found that the wheels and rims on the vehicle at that time were not the stock wheels and tires that were on the vehicle on February 25th when the State Farm adjuster inspected the damage, but instead were the same type of chrome rim and tire as purchased by Brunt on February 8th.

“ Mr. Brunt fabricated a phony burglary for his own gain,” Attorney General Curran said. "The Office of the Attorney General will continue to work with the Maryland Insurance Administration to aggressively investigate and prosecute insurance fraud."

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