NY man pleads not guilty to false burglary report, insurance fraud

BENNINGTON -- A New York man is being charged with falsely telling police and his insurance company that $36,850 in items such as televisions, a mink coat, ski suit, fur boots, and 20 bottles of wine was stolen from his vacation home in Winhall.

Danny L. Price, 54, of East Lake Road in Skaneateles, N.Y., pleaded not guilty Monday in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division to a felony count of insurance fraud and a misdemeanor charge of false information to a police officer. He was released after posting a deposit on $5,000 bail.

According to an affidavit by Winhall Police Officer Gregory Gould, on Jan. 25 Price reported by phone that his home had been entered and items stolen. Price said that he would speak to Gould in person when he returned to the area, but told Gould he did not believe entry was forced and said keys to the home were kept in a lock box outside for which only a few people had access to the combination. He suggested to Gould that someone with knowledge of electronics had removed three of the televisions in the home and added that his caretaker, Christopher Langley, had resigned after the burglary which Price found suspicious.

Gould spoke to Richard McCurry, an insurance investigator with Chubb and Son Insurance Group who provided Gould with a list of items Price had claimed as being stolen. They included three televisions, one mink coat, numerous bottles of wine, a "Britto" painting, fur boots, and a Bogner ski suit. Gould wrote that he received three lists from Price, with inconsistencies between them.

Langley told Gould that he resigned from his position on Jan. 26 after he heard Price was accusing him of being involved in the burglary. Langley, however, was still working for Price's wife, Janine Price, and said the two are going through a contentious divorce. He said he was told by Janine Price to go to the house and look for items Price reported stolen, and did so on Feb. 6, according to the affidavit. Gould wrote that Langley supplied him with photographs of some of the reportedly stolen items and told him some of the items reported were never in the house.

On Feb. 13 police searched the home and found a nine-disc Rock and Roll Hall of Fame DVD set, a Sony television, drinking glasses, a framed Britto painting, and a Utica fur coat.

Janine Price told police the televisions seized were the only ones that had been in the house, and the same was for the Britto. She said she had asked Langley to get her boots and ski suit when he was there on Feb. 6. Langley agreed with this and gave police the items.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr


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