Coalport man faces felony fraud charges

CLEARFIELD — A 51-year-old Coalport man is facing felony insurance fraud charges for lying about the date of a traffic accident.

An investigator from the attorney general’s office filed the fraud charges along with a felony count of theft by deception after he looked into a claim filed by Jesse J. Finnegan in February.

Finnegan was in an accident on Feb. 5 on Route 1016 in Dean Township, Cambria County, after another vehicle entered his lane of travel, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

When he swerved to miss the car, his truck reportedly hit a tree, causing damage to the passenger side tire, bumper and headlight along with the grill and frame.

State police on the scene gave him a citation for driving without insurance.

Early in the morning on Feb. 6, Finnegan allegedly called his insurance company to reinstate his truck’s liability insurance. The following day, he reportedly added comprehensive and collision insurance to his policy.

Finnegan then filed an insurance claim on Feb. 7 at 6:32 p.m., saying the accident occurred between 3 and 4 p.m. on that date, according to court documents.

The investigator learned from state police the actual time of the accident was

at 8:04 p.m. on Feb. 5.

During an interview with the agent, Finnegan stated he only called the insurance company to inform them of the accident and indicated he did not file a claim.

When he was confronted with the fact that he did file a claim two days after the accident, Finnegan advised he was “foggy” with the actual date and time because he hit his head when the truck struck the tree, according to the report.

Finnegan waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court in Clearfield County, sending his case on to the court of common pleas.

He is free on $25,000, unsecured bail.