• The case of Lynn M. Bennett, 51, of Knapp Hill Rd. in Chestertown of was adjourned to March 2. She is charged with the Misdemeanor of fifth-degree Insurance Fraud. Police said that in making a claim to New York Central Mutual insurance company, reporting storm damage to a roof at 18 Library Ave. in Warrensburg, she impersonated a member of the homeowner's family.
Bennett was a representative for Ken Wilkins and his partner Cheri Kenny of Assurance Building & Contracting of Chestertown. In this case, which authorities have described as a wide-ranging insurance scam, Wilkins is charged with felony Insurance Fraud.
In another unrelated case, Bennett has recently been indicted on 23 felonies by a Warren County Grand Jury - police say she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from a homeowners association at the Green Mansions resort in Chester and Warrensburg.
In this roofing case, a resident at a house at 18 Library Ave. said in a statement to police that Lynn Bennett and Ken Wilkins of Assurance Building & Contracting had offered to restore their roof, claiming roof damage. Wilkins had been up on the roof Nov. 10 to inspect the roof, and a resident of the home told police that shingles were torn off the roof that day, and there had been virtually no prior storm damage to the roof. The resident also said Wilkins admitted, then later retracted the statement, that he tore shingles off the roof. Another witness said Lynn Bennett put a bag with unidentified contents into her car. That day, a resident of the home responsible for the claim called the insurance agency and found out that someone believed to be Lynn Bennett had called in the claim acting as the resident, and gave her own cell phone number as the homeowner's.
The claim, first instituted as wind damage, was closed by New York Central Mutual, and the firm pledged to pay $12,381 to the homeowner due to what they determined to be "vandalism." The insurance adjuster found that the alleged removal of shingles - which a witness said was due to Wilkins - to be $17,100 worth of damage.
In a confession, Bennett said she worked for Wilkins and Kenney in Assurance Building on roofing and siding jobs throughout the region based on claims of storm damage. In her statement, Bennett said she and others would prompt homeowners to sign agreements that all proceeds from insurance settlements would be paid to Assurance, and that she, Wilkins or Kenney would pick up the money. In the statement, Bennett said they had done 75 roofing and siding jobs in towns including Warrensburg, Ticonderoga, and Queensbury, most of them based on hail damage. She claimed she was paid $20 per hour plus 40 percent of the difference between the insurance payment and the cost of the job. She added that she regularly received $300 to $500 for each job.
The investigation into the alleged roofing scam were conducted by both the state Police and the state Insurance Department investigators.
• The cases of Lynn T. Bonilla, 44, and Brian L. Cole, 48, of King St. Warrensburg, were adjourned to March 2. They are both facing a charge of first-degree Unlawfully Dealing with a Child. Police said Bonilla and Cole allowed alcohol to be consumed at their home at 2:45 a.m. Feb. 12 by a dozen people under the age of 21 - including one teen who was 14 - while hosting a birthday party.
• In a plea bargain, Kristina A. Rafferty, 28, of Cloverleaf Drive, Warrensburg pled Guilty to second-degree Harassment, and she was sentenced to a conditional discharge. The plea deal involved dropping the charge of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Police said that Rafferty picked up a child under 7 years old, held the youngster up horizontally in her arms and dropped him about three feet onto the floor in Rafferty's home, causing bruises, swelling and an abrasion to the child's face. The incident occurred Jan. 12 at about noon, and was investigated by the county Child Protective Services as well as the county Sheriff's office.
• Richard G. Gasparro, 20, of Highland New York pled Guilty to Facilitating Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and Unregistered Operation. He had faced a Misdemeanor charge of third-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a motor vehicle based on an incident 7:46 a.m. Jan. 1. He was sentenced to fines and surcharges totaling $420.
• Michael Santisteban, 36, of River St. in Warrensburg pled Guilty to parking on the pavement in a plea bargain, and he was sentenced to a fine of $125. He was originally charged with Texting While Driving while operating a vehicle on Main St. in Warrensburg.
• Brian C. Gebo of Ft. Edward and Michael Masonius of Main St. in Warrensburg squared off Feb. 16 in a small claims case and a counterclaim. Gebo sought $3,000 for a paycheck for work he said he'd performed, claiming that on payday, Masonius said he didn't have money to pay him. In an opposing claim, Masonius sought $980 in costs to re-do alleged poor workmanship by Gebo. He claimed he had to hire two workmen over two days to repair Gebo's defective work. Warrensburg Town Justice Richard Nissen reserved judgment on the cases, which were adjourned awaiting a decision from Nissen in writing.
• The case of Jessica K. Hayle, 29, of Burdick Avenue, Warrensburg, was adjourned to March 2. She is charged with Driving While Intoxicated, a Misdemeanor, based on a breath test after a state Trooper found her stopped on the Northway at 4:22 a.m. Feb. 10 after she ran out of gas. She is also charged with Driving with a blood alcohol level exceeding 0.08 percent. Police said Hayle's blood-alcohol level measured 0.11 percent in a breath test.
• Judge Nissen issued a warrant for the arrest of Jacob L. Steves of Alpine Ave., Queensbury, based on a ticket issued July 19 in a traffic stop on State Rte. 9 at the north end of the Warrensburg hamlet, after he swerved into an oncoming lane and struck another vehicle, police said. The warrant was based on a prior conviction of second-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation.
• The case of Glen B. Germain of Glen-Athol Rd., Warrensburg, was adjourned to March 2. He is charged with second-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, a Misdemeanor, based on a traffic stop at 9:28 p.m. Jan. 20 on Hackensack Ave., Warrensburg.
• William F. Szabo, Jr. pled Guilty to second-Degree Harassment, and was sentenced to a Conditional Discharge and ordered to pay $225 in a fine and surcharge. Police said that on Sept. 17 Szabo called his former girlfriend eight times in 90 minutes and sent her five text messages. An order of protection was issued barring him from contacting her.
• Landlord Glenda Duell was granted a judgement of $1,060 and an eviction order against Gwen Roberts and Deborah Sanderson, based on non-payment of two months' rent at 40 Burdick Avenue., Warrensburg.
• The cases of Jesse Arnold, Clarissa Briggs, Mario Cumberbatch, Christopher Daley, Kade Hamblin, Jennifer Murphy, Amanda Planty and Kelly Rafferty were adjourned to March 2. The case of Patrick Cobb was adjourned to March 16. The court hearing of Hemsing vs. Peluso was cancelled.