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Kenosha car dealer did not commit suicide over denial of insurance coverage

September 12, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: A FOX Business story says a Kenosha, Wisconsin, car dealer whose car lot was burned during recent unrest killed himself because insurance would not cover the damage.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The story was fabricated and published on a page made to resemble FOX Business news. Anmol Khindri, whose family owns the Car Source dealership, is alive. He did recently tell reporters that insurance had declined to cover the damage caused by recent unrest. 

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THE FACTS: The police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, led to several nights of protest and civil unrest in Kenosha. Amid the unrest, the Car Source dealership was burned. 

On Sept. 11, a screenshot circulating on Facebook shows what appears to be the FOX Business website with the headline, “Kenosha car dealer kills himself after his insurance won’t cover a cent of the 2.5 million dollars of damages caused by the riots.” 

The Associated Press contacted Khindri by cell phone for comment and received a text that reads, “It’s fake news.”

FOX Business spokesperson Emily Burnham confirmed to the AP that it had not published the article. 

The part of the fake article that is being shared on social media does not name Khindri, but he has recently spoken to media outlets about the $2.5 million of damage at his car lot and his insurance company’s unwillingness to pay for it.

When asked about the fabricated FOX Business story, Kenosha Police Department Sergeant Jeremy Dewitt told the AP, “We have no reports consistent with the alleged information that is put out there, we have no information like that.

In the days before the fake article circulated, Khindri had spoken to several news outlets. Khindri told the local ABC affiliate, WKOW, about his insurance woes on Sept. 2. “They don’t cover the riots,” Khindri said in an interview in front of a lot full of burned cars. “This is domestic terrorism.”

He added, “I’m screwed.”

The car dealership launched a GoFundMe at the end of August to help raise money. “We, at Car Source, are a victim of Riots, here, in Kenosha, WI and lost 137 cars and our facility this week,” the fundraising page reads. On Sept. 11 the business had raised $43,170 in donations.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536