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ONLINE BRAGGING BRINGS INSURANCE FRAUD PROBE
Bragging on Internet leads to charge against Marine.

Date published: 2/13/2009

BY KEITH EPPS

A Stafford man who bragged on the Internet about cheating an insurance company pleaded guilty to a criminal charge yesterday.

Khris Robert Figurelli, 30, was convicted of obtaining money by false pretenses, a misdemeanor, in Stafford Circuit Court. He intially was charged with a felony.

According to prosecutor Michael Hardiman, Figurelli, a Marine, had camera equipment stolen from his truck in May.

He filed an insurance claim with USAA, an insurance firm that caters to military personnel and their families.

The company paid him $3,271 to settle the claim.

Some time later, according to the evidence, Figurelli was online bragging about pulling a fast one on the company. Hardiman said he had claimed to have equipment that was far more expensive than what he actually lost.

Figurelli was apparently unaware that USAA has technology that enables the company to be notified every time its name comes up on the Internet.

The company's fraud investigators obtained Figurelli's posting and contacted him about it.

Figurelli admitted what he'd done to the company and state police special agent Dennis Dodson. He was arrested in November.

The money was repaid to the insurance company, and Figurelli was allowed to plead to a misdemeanor.

"He ended up with nothing for his loss other than a conviction," Hardiman said.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404
Email: kepps@freelancestar.com