Man gets suspended sentence for insurance fraud

A former Carson City man received a suspended 12- to 32-month sentence for falsely reporting the theft of a front loader to his insurance company.

Tye Fortuna, 31, of Big Fork, Mont., was sentenced Tuesday by Judge Michael R. Griffin in the Carson City District Courthouse after pleading guilty to felony insurance fraud, according the Nevada Attorney General's Office.

Fortuna was a Carson City resident and the former owner of Sierra Earth and Stone Corp. He reported to Zurich Insurance Co. that a 2000 Komatsu front loader, was stolen from a job site in Carson City.

The insurance company paid Fortuna $89,375.

A subsequent anonymous tip to the Insurance Fraud Unit of the Attorney General's Office indicated that Fortuna falsely reported the front loader stolen.

An investigation was initiated by the Insurance Fraud Unit.

The investigation revealed Fortuna had personally loaded the equipment on a trailer and moved the front loader to a friend's property in Big Fork and changed all of the identification numbers.

The Fraud Unit charged Fortuna with insurance fraud, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Griffin suspended the sentence and placed Fortuna on probation for five years. The loader was returned to the insurance company, which presently has a bid on it of $46,375.

The court ordered Fortuna to pay Zurich Insurance Co. $43,000 in restitution and $5,000 to the Fraud Unit to help cover investigative costs.


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