Junkyard owner pleads not guilty in fraud case
By Brian Sweeney
A Fleischmanns resident pleaded not guilty in Delaware County Court to five charges stemming from an alleged insurance fraud case.
William Hrazanek, 61, appeared before Delaware County Judge Carl W. Becker and entered not guilty pleas on one count of insurance fraud (a second-degree Class C felony) and four counts of offering a false instrument for filing (first-degree Class E felonies).
Conviction on the Class C felony carries a jail sentence from 5-15 years and the penalty for the Class E felonies is 1 1/3 - 4 years in jail.
A tentative trial date is planned for October, according to Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup.
Mr. Hrazanek, who operates several junkyards in Fleischmanns, was arrested on February 6 for fraudulently providing insurance and auto registrations for used cars with high mileage that he sold to unlicensed drivers. Mr. Hrazanek allegedly provided insurance and registrations for used cars that were purchased elsewhere and brought to him.
New York State law stipulates that only U.S. citizens or legal residents may apply for drivers’ licenses and applicants must have valid identification, such as a Social Security card.
Investigators said the cars involved in the case were reportedly identified as “garage vehicles” at Mr. Hrazanek’s junkyards and added to a business insurance policy. Police said Mr. Hrazanek charged the buyers $1,800 per vehicle for the fraudulent insurance and registration sales.
American Transit Insur-ance, Mr. Hrazanek’s insurance company, estimated a premium loss for 40 vehicles was $522,823.