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OFF BEAT: Former cop sentenced to prison for insurance fraud


An Ulster County, N.Y., judge has sentenced a former police officer to prison for insurance fraud related to a midnight auto accident that he fled, leaving behind several injured young women.

A jury last year reportedly found Thomas W. Douglass IV guilty of insurance fraud in the third degree and falsifying business records in the first degree for reporting to police that his truck collided with a deer.

The conviction stemmed from an insurance claim he filed for damage to his truck caused by the alleged collision with the deer, which the jury determined never occurred.

The case began in October 2009, when a pickup truck struck a car from behind that was carrying five women in Marlborough, N.Y.

The truck’s driver fled the scene without checking on the condition of the people in the car or calling for emergency help. Reports say four of the five women were injured.

The car’s occupants could not identify the truck driver and there were no other witnesses, the reports state.

But police and insurance investigators worked the case that resulted in an indictment and conviction of the former Newburgh, N.Y., police officer.

Earlier this month, Ulster County Court Judge Donald A. Williams sentenced Mr. Douglas to concurrent prison terms of one to three years on the two charges. He also must pay $13,000 in restitution.