BAY CITY (WWJ/AP) – A Michigan man who authorities say buried a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in 2009 and claimed it was stolen to collect insurance money has been sentenced to six months in jail.
A judge on Monday also ordered 40-year-old Chad Dejongh of Bay County’s Beaver Township to pay nearly $23,000 in restitution to an insurance company and about $2,500 to the Bay County Sheriff’s Department.
Dejongh, who declined to speak as the judge sentenced him, earlier pleaded no contest to two counts of false report of a felony. The plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.
Authorities say Dejongh reported his Rocker C motorcycle stolen in October 2009. He allegedly told police the bike was last seen in his yard with a “For Sale” sign on it.
The bike was insured through the Cincinnati-based American Family Home Insurance, which sent a check for $8,445.06 to Dejongh and another for $11,832.42 to an area credit union, Mlive.com reported.
Then, in September 2011 police received a tip that Dejongh may have buried the bike on a relative’s property in Midland County. A witness allegedly told police they didn’t come forward with the information earlier because Dejongh threatened to kill them if they told anyone.
Police executed a search warrant on the property the following month, but didn’t find the motorcycle. Investigators did, however, find motorcycle parts in a freshly dug patch of ground where the witness said the motorcycle was buried.
Police say Dejongh initially denied any wrongdoing.
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