Pair charged with "stolen" Corvette insurance scam
Canaan man's car found stashed in Hartland
CANAAN, NH - Two Upper Valley men are facing felony insurance fraud charges after police executing a search warrant discovered a 1984 Chevrolet Corvette that had been reported stolen by Wayne Shambo of Canaan at a property in Hartland, Vermont owned by his friend Randy Hook Sr., police announced Friday.
Canaan Police Chief Sam Frank said that Shambo reported his Corvette stolen on July 29th touching off an investigation that eventually grew to involve state police in both New Hampshire and Vermont as well as Vermont's Probation & Parole Department and the Progressive Insurance Special Investigations Unit.
"After a lengthy investigation, it was determined that Shambo arranged to have his vehicle stolen so he could fraudulently report the theft to an insurance company for a cash payment," Chief Frank said.
Shambo, 45, has been charged with two counts of insurance fraud, one count of filing a false report of a stolen vehicle and one count of tampering with public records.
Hook Sr., 43, has been charged with one count each of acting as an accomplice to insure fraud and conspiracy to commit a false report of a stolen vehicle.
Chief Frank said that, because of the value of the Corvette, the insurance fraud was charged under New Hampshire law as a "Class A" felony, meaning that each charge could carry a maximum potential sentence of up to 15 years in prison if there were to be a conviction. The other charges are Class A misdemeanors with each carry a potential one-year maximum sentence.
Following their arrests, both Shambo and Hook were released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail and ordered to appear in court on Monday, November 28th to be arraigned on the charges.
Hook served a week in jail in Vermont back in June after he pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle without the owner's consent and retail theft. As part of the plea agreement, Hook admitted taking several Christmas trees in early December from in front of the Evan’s Express Mart in White River Junction.
Hartford Police Officer Daniel Solomita said that he received a report on the afternoon of December 4th that someone had swiped three trees that had been leaning against the front of Evan’s. Solomita said that a review of the “clear and good quality” video footage that had been captured by surveillance cameras around the store led him to track down and question Hook at his house in Hartland a couple of days later.
Solomita said that he spotted the car the trees had been stuffed into parked at Hook’s house and determined that the rightful owner of the car had dropped it off at Hook’s automotive business for repair work and was “angry” to learn that Hook was driving it around. Officer Solomita said Hook confessed to taking the trees, which were later found and recovered, and “upon further questioning” Hook allegedly “indicated that he was intoxicated” when explaining his motive for taking them.