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Pennsylvania woman confesses to home insurance fraud scam

Posted On Thu, January 20, 2011 Pittsburgh authorities say that a New Castle, Pennsylvania, woman has confessed to hiring her neighbor to deliberately set her home on fire last March.

According to the Associated Press, police say Kitty Reno, 52, asked her neighbor to torch her house in exchange for $10,000 that would be paid to him after the insurance claim was filed. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has identified the neighbor as John Zona, 45.

While the home was set on fire, it was not destroyed and suffered approximately $50,000 in damages. The insurance claim was never collected.

Police say Reno confessed to hiring Zona after being arrested on unrelated charges. She's currently being held at Lawrence County Jail, where police say she confessed to the crime on tape.

Both Reno and Zona face arson, conspiracy and insurance fraud charges.

According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, insurance fraud costs insurers approximately $950 a year in additional premiums. Further, at $80 billion, more money is paid out in fraudulent home insurance claims per year than the $54 billion paid in fraudulent health insurance claims per year.

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