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Former South Franklin man charged with insurance fraud

March 23, 2017 GMT

A former South Franklin Township man was charged with insurance fraud after he allegedly tried to get an insurance company to pay for damage to his pickup truck after that same claim was denied by his current provider.Jeffrey Ray Hixon, 31, of 101 Trinity Drive, North Franklin Township, was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Ethan Ward on charges of insurance fraud and attempted theft by deception.The investigation was conducted by the attorney general’s insurance fraud section after receiving a referral from a representative of Nationwide Insurance’s special investigations unit. That company said its investigation found Hixon, while insured with GEICO, submitted a comprehensive claim for vehicle damages.On April 16, while Hixon was covered by GEICO, he reportedly filled his diesel-powered Dodge Ram pickup truck with regular gasoline. After driving the truck a short distance, he noticed it was having mechanical trouble and took it to a Cecil Township garage to be checked. It was determined the gasoline contaminated the fuel system, and the garage gave Hixon an estimate dated April 18 for $14,400.70 to repair the truck, according to authorities.Hixon reportedly submitted a claim to GEICO that was denied two days later because he did not have comprehensive coverage under his policy at the time of the loss. The denial was placed on file. Hixon allegedly went online and took out a new comprehensive policy with Nationwide for his truck.On May 27, Hixon allegedly called Nationwide to file a claim for damages, saying he put the regular gasoline in his truck May 23 and took it to the garage to get checked May 26. He claimed the estimate for repairs, dated May 26, was $17,469.88.A special investigator reportedly confronted Hixon about the previous claim for the same type of damage, and Hixon allegedly admitted the damage happened in April, not in May.A special agent with the attorney general’s office spoke with Hixon in January. Hixon allegedly admitted to filing the same claim with Nationwide in an attempt to get his vehicle repaired, and the claim was denied when Nationwide discovered the claim he made with GEICO.Hixon was released on $25,000 unsecured bond. He faces an April 11 hearing before Ward.