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Hilliards Couple Charged With Fraud In Crash Report


A Hilliards couple is awaiting a preliminary hearing in April on felony fraud charges after police say they made a false claim about an accident in November.

Barry G. Waldron, 53, and Nicole E. Stewart, 33, were each charged with two felony counts of insurance fraud and one count of criminal attempt to commit theft by deception after an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office into an incident in Slippery Rock Nov. 8.

The investigation began after a report from Progressive Insurance, which said that the couple purchased a new policy on their 2010 Toyota Tacoma Nov. 3, after their previous policy was canceled Aug. 24, 2017, for non-payment.

On Nov. 6, a claim was made that the vehicle hit a deer while Stewart was driving in Tazewell, VA, court documents state.

Progressive Insurance investigators then located several photographs which were posted on social media between Nov. 1 and 3, before the new policy, that showed the same damage that was claimed to have occurred Nov. 6.

Those posts were later removed, police said.

When interviewed by investigators in Grove City, the two admitted that the accident actually occurred Oct. 31, while Waldron was driving near their home in Hilliards, not in Virginia.

Waldron and Stewart then traveled to Tazewell after the accident, court documents state.

The two admitted to providing false information regarding the accident, including the date, the driver of the vehicle and the location of the crash, police said.

The amount of attempted theft was reported at $4,214, court documents state.

Waldron and Stewart were arraigned March 13 and were released on their own recognizance. A preliminary hearing is scheduled before District Judge William O’Donnell April 25.