By FELICIA KRIEG
---- — SARANAC — A Cadyville man was charged with fraud after he allegedly lied to police to collect insurance money.
On Nov. 2, 2012, John D. Mattoon, 61, had lent his pickup truck to a female friend whose license was suspended, Plattsburgh-based State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Investigator Trevor Giroux said.
Soon after the exchange, the Dannemora woman crashed the vehicle when she swerved to avoid hitting a deer, Giroux said.
The woman called Mattoon, who went to the accident site and allegedly told her to leave the area. When troopers arrived, Mattoon told them he had been driving the truck at the time of the accident, Giroux said.
Mattoon knew his friend’s license was suspended when he lent her his truck, the investigator said.
Two other passengers were in the vehicle at the time of the accident, Giroux said, and the driver later said she had suffered a cut to her head as a result of the accident but did not require medical attention.
The day after the accident, Mattoon called his insurance company and made a claim on his vehicle, eventually collecting almost $14,000 in damages, Giroux said.
Police learned of the car accident in January of this year after Mattoon made a report of a stolen chainsaw, the Giroux said.
Mattoon pinned the larceny on another person, but he had actually stolen the chainsaw himself, Giroux said, and police found it in his possession.
Police arrested Mattoon in connection with that incident and charged him with two misdemeanors: falsely reporting an incident and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.
As the larceny investigation continued, police learned of the accident and insurance fraud associated with it, Giroux said.
Mattoon was arrested on the morning of Aug. 17 at State Police barracks in Plattsburgh on charges of third-degree insurance fraud, a felony, and falsifying business records, a misdemeanor.
Mattoon was arraigned in Plattsburgh Town Court before Justice Kevin Patnode and was sent to Clinton County Jail in lieu of $1,500 cash bail or $3,000 bond.
The case is in Saranac Town Court, but the status Mattoon’s cases was not available Thursday.
Giroux said the investigation is continuing and that another arrest is possible.
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