June 7, 2005
ANOTHER CONVICTED IN HARFORD COUNTY AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Darlene
Hohl, 61, of the 8800 block of Dove Drive in Perry Hall pleaded
guilty in Harford County Circuit Court to felony insurance fraud.
The conviction 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.
In a statement of facts presented by the prosecutor, the court
learned that Ms. Hohl and others conspired with Michael J. Horner,
former owner of Contemporary Auto in Harford County, to commit
insurance fraud by making fraudulent insurance claims for automobile
accidents that never occurred. After receiving insurance settlement
checks for these claims, the defendants turned the checks over
to Horner who then paid them a portion of the proceeds. Two other
co-conspirators, Janelle Wiegand ,23, and Shannon Smith 23, pleaded
guilty to felony insurance fraud in February of this year.
Horner, who has been indicted for felony theft, insurance fraud
and conspiring to file numerous fraudulent automobile insurance
claims totaling just more than $288,000.00 from January of 2002
through January of 2004, was arrested last week by Federal authorities
in Pennsylvania and is presently in federal custody. Horner’s
charges allege that he carried out this scheme by fraudulently
switching V.I.N numbers from undamaged vehicles to severely damaged
salvage vehicles prior to their presentation to insurance claims
adjustors for inspection. No trial date has been set in Horner’s
The Honorable Thomas E. Marshall sentenced Darlene Hohl to three
years’ incarceration, suspended that sentence and placed
her on five years probation and ordered her to pay restitution
to the insurance company.