CRIME

Charles County women charged in vehicle insurance fraud

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Police have charged three Charles County women for intentionally setting a car on fire because the owner couldn’t afford the monthly payments.

Police say Nichelle C. Underwood, her sister Tanya R. Mathis, and Angela Y. Hemsley destroyed a 2007 Chevrolet Corvette purchased by Underwood in August. Underwood got her sister involved when she was unable to make the $1,300 monthly payments on the $77,000 car. Hemsley eventually agreed to burn the vehicle for $500.

The Corvette was found completely destroyed near Friendship Landing Park on the morning of Dec. 9.

Mathis and Hemsley have been charged with arson and conspiracy. Underwood faces conspiracy and malicious and fraud charges.

“When someone commits arson and vehicle insurance fraud, they are stealing directly from the pockets of hard-working, honest Marylanders,” Maryland State Fire Marshal William Barnard says in a release.

If convicted, all three could spend anywhere from five to 20 years behind bars and/or fines of up to $30,000.

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