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A Salem man admitted Thursday that he wrecked his car and bought car insurance an hour later to try to get the damages paid for.

Robert Porter, 24, pleaded guilty to presenting a false claim for payment of $1,000 or less. Porter was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $500, suspended to payment of $200 to be made within 30 days.

Investigators said on Jan. 15, Porter was in an automobile accident in Walhalla. The Walhalla police responded and completed an incident report.

One hour later, Porter contacted Progressive Insurance and took out an automobile insurance policy. He then attempted to report the wreck as having happened during his coverage period.

The claim was denied, and the case was investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division and Progressive. According to the attorney general’s 2009 report on insurance fraud, Richland County reported the largest number of complaints made, with 88, in an amount of $1,628,174. Greenville County had the largest dollar value of fraud reported, with $2,226,496.

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