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Tuesday, 11 July 2017 20:26

Probation, Community Service Following Woman's No Contest Plea After Insurance Fraud

Written by Keith Gushard, Meadville Tribune

A Cochranton area woman will serve probation and perform community service after pleading no contest to attempting to commit theft by deception over an auto insurance claim.

Sandra Butler, 57, of 5059 Captain Williams Road, Greenwood Township, was charged in June 2016 by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General with insurance fraud and attempted theft by deception for filing an alleged false auto insurance claim in late 2015.


Butler pleaded no contest to the attempted theft by deception charge in county court in May of this year in a plea agreement with the Attorney General's office.


In pleading no contest, a person does not admit guilt but agrees there is enough evidence to convict if a trial were held. A no contest plea has the same effect for sentencing purposes as pleading guilty.


President Judge Anthony Vardaro sentenced Butler to pay court costs, a $200 fine and serve 18 months of probation with 50 hours of community service as part of her probationary term.


The attorney general's office alleged Butler filed a claim with her automobile insurance provider, Allstate, following an accident on Dec. 11, 2015. After Butler was informed her policy had been canceled Dec. 8, 2015, due to non-payment, she made a payment to reinstate the policy but was told by the insurance agent the effective date of the reinstated policy would be Dec. 18, 2015, according to the attorney general’s office. The attorney general's office said Butler filed another claim Dec. 23, 2015, stating she hit a deer on Dec. 18, 2015, alleging the same facts as the initial claim.


Butler was among 43 individuals statewide who were charged in June 2016 following investigations by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section. The total potential fraud involved in all the cases was more than $275,000, according to the attorney general's office.


Thank you Meadville Tribune for reprint permission.

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