October 6, 2004
CHARGED IN FRAUDULENT AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT SCAM
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the filing
of felony insurance fraud, felony theft and conspiracy charges
against Michael Horner, former owner of Contemporary Auto in
Harford County, and four co-conspirators, Darlene Hohl, Shannon
Smith, Monica Trawinski and Janelle Wiegand. The filing of charges
follows a joint investigation conducted by the Office of the
Attorney General, the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland
Insurance Administration and the Maryland State Police.
a nineteen count indictment filed in the Circuit Court for Harford
County, Horner was charged with felony theft, insurance
conspiring to file numerous fraudulent automobile insurance claims
totaling over $288,000.00 from January of 2002 through January
of 2004. The charges also allege that Horner carried out this
scheme by fraudulently switching vehicle identification
numbers from undamaged
vehicles to severely damaged salvage vehicles prior to their
presentation to insurance claims adjustors for inspection.
was charged with felony insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit
insurance fraud for their involvement in the scheme.
If convicted, each of the defendants could face up to fifteen
years in prison on each count. No trial date has been set.
indictment is merely an accusation of wrongdoing, and every
individual is presumed innocent until the charges are proven
by the State.