Again on the tail finish of 2021, fashionable off-road restoration YouTuber Matthew Wetzel was charged with one second-degree felony depend of insurance coverage fraud. Wetzel has pleaded no contest to expenses and has been ordered to probation and to pay fines to each the American Car Affiliation and to Utah.
Wetzel runs the Matt’s Off-Highway Restoration youtube channel, Wetzel, with the assistance of pals and different friends, helps off-roaders and even common folks out of sticky conditions. The crew recovers every little thing from six determine Jeeps to wrecked planes with fairly superior rigs. I’ve featured a couple of of the channel’s shenanigans earlier than throughout my off-roading low season.
Nevertheless, in keeping with the Utah Insurance coverage Fraud Division, a number of the tows carried out by Wetzel’s Winder Towing — together with a minimum of one featured in a video — have been misrepresented in claims to AAA. The insurer paid out over $15,000 for these claims. Considered one of which was this tow, which was featured on the channel:
One declare examined by investigators concerned a Polaris RZR off-road automobile towed from Sand Hole State Park in April 2020. In a video of the tow posted to Wetzel’s YouTube channel, he was seen hauling the automobile, courtroom paperwork stated — noting that AAA’s coverage doesn’t cowl off-road automobile tows.
The proprietor of the RZR informed an investigator that he used his buddy’s AAA membership to cowl the price of the restoration, courtroom paperwork stated. The declare filed with AAA stated Winder Towing rescued the buddy’s truck, as an alternative of the RZR, the paperwork stated.
Wetzel was charged with one second-degree felony depend of insurance coverage fraud. This can be a cost that carries a possible punishment of as much as 15 years in jail and a nice of $10,000.
Nevertheless, as KSL Information reviews, Wetzel will see nowhere close to that. As a part of a plea settlement, Wetzel pleaded no contest to a Class A Misdemeanor of constructing a false or fraudulent insurance coverage declare. The cost is a discount of the unique felony and means probation as an alternative of jail time, from KSL information:
Fifth District Decide Jeffrey Wilcox ordered Wetzel to serve 18 months of probation and pay fines, together with $15,328 to AAA and $1,745 to Utah’s insurance coverage fraud division.
Matt’s Off-Highway Restoration has continued to publish content material by the case. I even caught a glimpse of the Morrvair wheeling on the King of the Hammers final month.
In the long run, either side of the case seem like glad with the outcome. The Utah Lawyer Normal’s Workplace believes justice has been served as Wetzel will likely be paying AAA again. In the meantime, Wetzel plans on persevering with off-road restoration providers to the area and in search of early termination of the probation.