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    Authorities arrest man in insurance fraud case

    By Times staff writer

    © St. Petersburg Times, published April 18, 2001

    A fifth man has been arrested in connection with an insurance scam in which three cars were falsely reported stolen and dumped, Pinellas sheriff's investigators said Tuesday.

    Jack Nelson, 32, of 6810 Stonethrows Circle, St. Petersburg, was arrested Monday morning on an insurance fraud charge. He is accused of trying to collect $15,000 in insurance money after conspiring with two men who agreed to steal his 1994 Mercedes Benz, then dumped it in the water off the Bay Pines boat ramps, sheriff's officials said.

    Deputies discovered the sunken car. The two other men, Robert Riffey, 29, of Pinellas Park, and Steven M. Derry, 22, were arrested in the past several weeks on charges of grand theft auto and altering a vehicle identification number. Sheriff's officials say two other men, Carl J. Plzak, 41, of Winter Haven, and Joseph Paul Delio, 22, of Pinellas Park hired the pair to steal and dump their cars so they could collect insurance. Both were arrested last week.

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