A lesbian couple faked a hate crime that left their home a pile of charred rubble at their Venore, Tenn., property in 2010, local reports said.
An insurance company caught on to the ruse months after the blaze and accused Carol Ann and Laura Stutte of perpetuating a hoax and blaming the fire on their neighbor, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
A federal jury ruled in favor of the insurance company’s belief that the couple spray-painted an anti-gay slur on their own garage to spin the fire as a hate crime based on their sexual orientation.
The homeowners intended to bank on an insurance claim of more than $276,000, American National and Casulty Company alleged in court documents obtained by the News Sentinel.
There is even a web site devoted to fake hate crimes.