For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: October 23, 2006

Pocatello Resident Sentenced for Insurance Fraud

(Boise) – A Pocatello man received a one to seven year prison sentence for insurance fraud, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Joshua K. Smith, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of insurance fraud and was sentenced in Sixth District Court in Pocatello. Sixth District Judge Peter McDermott also ordered Smith to pay $6,900 in restitution. The court suspended the prison sentence and ordered Smith to serve 60 days in the Bannock County Jail and seven years on probation.

In January of 2003, Smith purchased a CR 125 Honda motorcycle. A few weeks later, he attempted to sell the motorcycle without success. He then hid the motorcycle in a relative’s storage shed, called the police and reported the motorcycle stolen. Smith then filed an insurance claim that was paid by State Farm Insurance.

In August of 2005, Smith sold the motorcycle to a co-worker for $1,200. Bingham County authorities discovered the motorcycle at the buyer’s residence after receiving an anonymous tip. The co-worker stated that he had purchased the motorcycle from Smith. The restitution order requires Smith to pay $5,700 to State Farm Insurance to reimburse the company for the payment made as a result of the fraudulent claim and $1,200 to reimburse Bingham County for the cost of storing the motorcycle.

“Insurance fraud is a serious crime,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. “It harms all Idahoans and causes the cost of insurance to increase. My office works very closely with the Idaho Department of Insurance to see that insurance fraud crimes are thoroughly investigated and vigorously prosecuted.”

“This case sends a clear message that insurance fraud will not be tolerated in Idaho,” said Shad Priest, Acting Director of the Idaho Department of Insurance.

Charles Hudson of the Idaho Department of Insurance investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Ken Robins of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit.

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