Nov. 11--A Buffalo teen has been charged after prosecutors say he attempted to defraud his car insurance provider by intentionally damaging his own vehicle and spray-painting racist graffiti on it.
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced multiple charges against 18-year-old Clifton D. Eutsey of Buffalo who was virtually arraigned Tuesday before Buffalo City Court Judge Shannon M. Heneghan.
Prosecutors say that in the early morning hours of Oct. 15, Eutsey intentionally spray-painted his SUV with racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti on Saranac Avenue in Buffalo. The defendant is also accused of pouring a substance, believed to be sugar, into the gas tank of the vehicle with the intent to cause damage. Eutsey also intentionally filed a false claim with his car insurance provider.
Eutsey was formally charged with third-degree insurance fraud, a class D felony, second-degree offering a false instrument for filing, a class A misdemeanor, second-degree falsifying business records, a class A misdemeanor and falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, also a class A misdemeanor.
Flynn's office said Eutsey was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to return to court for a hearing on Jan. 11.
If convicted on all charges, Flynn said Eutsey faces up to seven years in prison.
Flynn's office said the defendant also has pending felony charges in a separate case. It is alleged that on Oct. 24, at about 9 p.m., Buffalo Police officers stopped him on Erskine Avenue and found he was driving without a license and had two loaded, illegal firearms.
Eutsey was arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Amy C. Martoche on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, class C violent felonies, on Oct. 25. He was also charged with vehicle and traffic law violations for driving without a license and leaving a motor vehicle unattended.
Judge Martoche set bail at $20,000 cash or bond, or $10,000 partially secured bond. The defendant posted bail and has been released. He is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 4 for a felony hearing.
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