St John’s fraudster gets hard time for ‘Ram & Escape’ ploy

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A man from St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, will spend most weekends this year in jail, after pleading guilty to helping stage a traffic accident for insurance fraud purposes.
 
Darrell Frank Tucker, 38, was sentenced to a 90-day intermittent prison term in provincial court in St John's, after pleading guilty to attempted fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and public mischief.
 
Five others arrested following a collision in February 2014, are believed to be part of the scheme to fake the accident in which a Dodge Ram was to rear-end a Ford Escape.
 
But following the ram, the escape never happened, as information pertaining to the fraud was intercepted as part of a Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit investigation into drug trafficking activity in the capital city. A number of telephone calls and text messages were intercepted that led police to believe there was a plan in place to soon stage an accident.
 
So when a 911 call came in from Michelle Pike who said her vehicle had been rear-ended by another vehicle while she was carrying three passengers, David Rypkema, Glenn Hussey and John Hutchings, suspicions were aroused. The other driver involved, the driver of the Dodge Ram, was Paddy Dooley.
 
So when insurance claims were filed, the police swooped. It then became apparent that at least one of the people involved in the accident had owed a substantial amount of money to Tucker and that the expected insurance payout would help clear the debt. Liable insurer RBC estimated the total payout would have been $30,000.

Pike, Hutchings, Dooley, Rypkema and Hussey all pleaded guilty and have since been sentenced. The judge agreed an intermittent sentence was appropriate for Tucker.
 

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