WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County man was convicted insurance fraud last week after a weeklong jury trail.
Peter Dane Koke, 52, was found guilty of Insurance Fraud and Obtaining Property by False Pretenses. Koke was sentenced to two consecutive 11-23 month sentences and placed him on supervised probation for 36 months.
The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Department of Insurance concerning
misrepresentations Koke made on an insurance application and other insurance documents. The investigation revealed that Koke’s Dodge Ram pickup truck was involved in an accident on July 3, 2015 in which the truck sustained approximately $9,000 worth of damages.
During this time, Koke did not have insurance on the vehicle. The investigation further revealed that Koke arranged for a mobile mechanic to replace some of the damaged truck parts under the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.
On August 7, 2015, Koke applied for an insurance policy on the truck and failed to disclose that he had been convicted of a felony offense within the past 10 years. This allowed him to receive comprehensive coverage, which the insurance company would not have issued had they known he was convicted of attempted obtaining property by false pretenses previously.
Koke then reported the truck stolen five days after obtaining the insurance policy and failed to disclose to the insurance company that the truck had major repairs since it was purchased.
Investigators believed they found the truck submerged in the Cape Fear River under the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge in September of 2016 and divers with the Wilmington Fire Department dive team were able to pull a side view mirror and a Dodge Ram emblem off the truck.
A tow truck driver testified that, a few weeks after the WFD encounter with the truck, Koke hired him to pull a Dodge Ram truck out of the water. The truck Koke reported stolen has not been seen since.