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      Utica woman gets prison time for faking car crash

      A Utica woman has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for her role in faking a car crash in an insurance and healthcare fraud scheme.

      54-year-old Cynthia Morgan was sentenced in Syracuse today, and was ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution, along with the prison time. She will also serve three years of supervision after her release.

      Morgan pleaded guilty last August to conspiracy to commit mail and healthcare fraud.

      Morgan admitted her part in a scheme to stage a car crash in March of 2006 on harbor Lock Road in Utica.

      The scheme involved Morgan, her husband David Morgan, Joseph Demme, Joseph Dellebra and Michael Matrulli, according to the charges.

      The group planned to stage a car accident, where a van driven by Morgan would be hit by a Ryder truck driven by Matrulli. According to prosecutors, the crash was staged, but no one was injured.

      Morgan claimed to have injuries from the accident and submitted false insurance claims that included personal injuries, no-fault benefits and disability benefits.

      Morgan was treated for injuries that did not exist, or for injuries not related to the crash.

      Her medical bills were paid by a healthcare benefit program, specifically by Progressive Insurance Company.

      The charges say that Morgan collected $108,000 from Mutual of Omaha under a disability policy. She also started a civil lawsuit seeking damages for personal injuries from the staged crash. She got $30,000 in that lawsuit.