An 18-year-old Buffalo man who claimed last month that his 2004 BMW was vandalized with racist graffiti and pro-Trump messages like “Trump 4 President” is now facing insurance fraud charges after prosecutors say he did the damage himself.
Clifton Eutsey was charged in Buffalo City Court last week with third-degree insurance fraud, falsifying records, and falsely reporting an incident, among other offenses, the Buffalo News reported.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said one of Eutsey’s neighbors filed a vandalism report on Oct. 15 after seeing Eutsey’s car vandalized and covered in graffiti – including swastikas, homophobic slurs, and pro-Trump messages.
Eutsey was interviewed on Buffalo’s WKBW, saying: “I never thought that happens” and “I thought that was stuff that happened in movies.”
His original Facebook post showing the vandalism provoked accusations that he did it himself, something that Eutsey emphatically denied, according to the station.
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“Who would do that to their own vehicle?” Eutsey asked. “Who does that? Nobody does that to their own car. How are you going to get around now if you do that to your car?”
But after a “thorough investigation,” authorities determined that Eutsey “did it himself,” Flynn said.
“I don’t want to go exactly into what the evidence is but there’s some video out there and there’s just good old-fashioned investigating,” Flynn said. “Talking to witnesses. Talking to family. Talking to neighbors. We put 2 and 2 together and he’s 4.”
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Eutsey turned himself in on November 10. His attorney entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. Per state reform measures, he was not taken into custody because his crimes did not qualify under bail. He is due back in court on January 11 and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.