SC man pleads guilty to fraud, weapons charges

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CHARLESTON, S.C. - A South Carolina man has pleaded guilty to fraud and weapons charges in what officials say was the state's largest staged-wreck ring.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Friday that Richard Leon Pinckney of Walterboro has been sentenced to about 26 years in prison.

Allison Dean Love of the South Carolina Insurance News Service says a group defrauded insurance companies of about $230,000.

Pinckney pleaded guilty Wednesday to fraud charges stemming from seven staged wrecks. Two of the staged wrecks were blamed on the driver swerving to avoid wild hogs.

He had pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to being a convicted felon in possession of a gun.

The state attorney general's office said the defendants in the ring staged dozens of wrecks over a two-year span to collect insurance money.

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