ALBANY, NY --- An Oneonta, NY, man was arrested last week for insurance fraud and falsifying business records when it was discovered he bought auto insurance after an accident, the New York State Insurance Department reported.

Donald Stanton Jr., 31, of 4069 State Highway 7, was arrested by state police in Oneonta. He is accused of buying auto insurance and then filing a claim after the rental car he was driving was damaged when he reportedly hit a deer.

According to Gordon Saggese of the Insurance Department's Frauds Bureau, Stanton rented a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu Sept. 1 and declined to purchase optional insurance coverage from the rental car company. On Sept. 19, Stanton purchased auto insurance to cover the car from Progressive Insurance Company. Three days later, he filed a claim, reporting that he struck a deer when driving from the insurance agency.

However, witnesses told investigators they noticed damage to Stanton's rental when it was parked in front of his home prior to the time he purchased insurance. His $1,280 insurance claim was never paid.

Stanton was released pending a hearing in Oneonta City Court. If convicted, he could be sentenced to four years in prison. The case is being prosecuted by the office of District Attorney John Muehl.