False insurance claim leads to 60-day jail term
A 60-day jail term was ordered for a man who said he was trying to protect his teenage son when he filed a false insurance claim after the youth got into an accident.
Patrick Kaleo Henriques 42, was placed on four years’ probation as part of his sentence Tuesday.
Special Deputy Attorney General Colleen Chun said that after the collision in 2016, Henriques applied for insurance coverage for his truck that the 14-year-old boy was driving and asked the other party to lie about the date of the accident.
“Finally, the victim came clean because he didn’t want to be accused of fraud himself,” Chun said.
Then Henriques told the insurance company he wanted to withdraw the claim and said the victim had lied, she said.
She recommended a one-year jail term for Henriques based on his criminal history, including 61 arrests and 20 convictions during a 20-year span from 1997 to 2017. In 2008, Henriques was sentenced to a five-year prison term and was released in 2012, she said.
“He’s had several chances,” Chun said. “He needs to do some time.”
Defense attorney Wendy Hudson sought probation and no jail for “this new and improved Kaleo,” saying he had matured since his last conviction in 2008.
When his mother died in 2010 while Henriques was in prison, “he made this promise to himself,” Hudson said.
“He decided he had to step up, take responsibility and get his life turned around,” she said.
Now he has a landscaping business and is in “definitely a different place,” Hudson said.
Henriques said he is a single father raising five children, who range in age from 3 to 19.
“Yes, I do have a past, and it’s a scary past for me,” he said in court. “I have been trying to do better.”
Responding to 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill’s comment that Henriques had broken his promise repeatedly, Henriques said, “I did break my mother’s promise. The only reason why is I thought I was protecting my son.”
“I just want to keep my household surviving,” he said.
Henriques had pleaded no contest to insurance fraud, with the state dismissing a charge of attempted second-degree theft.
Judge Cahill said he would allow Henriques to serve the 60-day jail term on weekends beginning Friday so he could continue caring for his children.
“It is a fraud case,” Cahill said. “There are victims, and it’s not just the insurance company because it causes everybody else’s rates to be affected, even if it’s a tiny, tiny amount.”
Henriques was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs as part of his probation.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.