A Meadville man will stand trial in Crawford County for allegedly filing a false insurance claim and attempted theft by deception last year.

Brian K. Rutter, 42, of 459 Pine St. was ordered held for court on the charges after failing to appear for a preliminary hearing Jan. 8 before Magisterial District Judge Samuel Pendolino. Rutter is charged by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General with filing a false insurance claim.

Authorities allege that on March 4, 2019, filed a claim with GEICO Insurance stating his right front window on his auto had been vandalized in Erie on March 2, 2019, while it was parked at 1016 E. Lake Road.

The affidavit said the investigation found Rutter’s car actually had been vandalized on Feb. 7, 2019, with that incident investigated by Erie Police Department.

Rutter didn’t have comprehensive/collision coverage at the time of the Feb. 7 vandalism and added the coverage on Feb. 15, the affidavit said. Rutter then filed a claim with GEICO stating the auto was vandalized March 2, the affidavit said.

When confronted by the insurance company, Rutter told GEICO officials "two separate vandalism incidents occurred, each resulting in the exact same damage," the affidavit said.

Rutter told GEICO officials he didn’t report the second act of vandalism to police and couldn’t produce evidence of a second vandalism incident, the affidavit said.

Rutter remains free on $2,500 non-monetary bond. He's scheduled to go on trial on the charges during the May term of Crawford County Court of Common Pleas. 

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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