Monday, August 1, 2016

KYCOA - Bentley - Insurance company is not a victim for restitution purposes

Kentucky Court of Appeals, to be published (7/29/16).  

Bentley entered a conditional guilty plea to receiving stolen property.  He was ordered to pay restitution of $1,000 to the victims of the theft and $11,000 to the victims’ insurance provider.  The insurance company had paid the victims $12,000 under a homeowner’s policy, with $1,000 amounting to the victims’ deductible under the policy.  The Court of Appeals reversed the portion of the final judgment ordering restitution to the insurance provider because the insurance company was not a victim in this case as defined by KRS 533.030(3).  

The Court distinguished Bentley’s case from Commonwealth v. Morseman because, while the Morseman Court found it was proper for that defendant to pay restitution to an insurance company, it was only because that insurance company was the victim of the crime for which Morseman was convicted, insurance fraud.  The Court affirmed the portion of the judgment ordering Bentley to pay restitution of $1,000 to the victims because the victims had paid that amount out-of-pocket to cover their deductible.  

Matt Michalovic represented Mr. Bentley in Letcher Circuit Court.  
Steven Buck represented Mr. Bentley on appeal.