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Former Honolulu police officer admits to staging burglary and burning own car

Former Honolulu police officer Travis E. Copeland pleaded guilty in state court today to two counts of insurance fraud.

He faces maximum five year prison terms for each count at sentencing in October. His lawyer, however, indicated that Copeland will ask the court to defer his guilty pleas and to give him the opportunity to avoid conviction.

The state’s Insurance Division says Copeland staged a burglary of his Pearl City home, then made an insurance claim for the loss of electronics, cash, liquor and jewelry, including engagement and wedding rings. His home insurer paid Copeland $4,796.

Copeland also claimed that his Mercedes-Benz was stolen in the burglary, which eyewitnesses reported seeing burning nearby. The state says Copeland then made a claim with his automobile insurer.

Before the insurer paid out $13,393 on the claim, the state says Copeland admitted to staging the burglary and destroying his vehicle to make false insurance claims.

The Honolulu Police Department says Copeland was employed by the department for 10 years up until his release in March.

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