AUGUSTA — A Monmouth man is accused of trying to defraud an insurance company and falsely reporting the theft of his boat and trailer.

Paul M. Cote, 71, was arraigned on three misdemeanor charges Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center. He is accused of criminal attempt to commit insurance deception, unsworn falsification, and criminal simulation, which says he “altered, removed or obscured the manufacturer’s serial number” on a motorboat. He was charged and arrested Tuesday.

Cote pleaded not guilty and was released on $500 unsecured bail. He is due in court again March 6.

An affidavit by Monmouth police Officer Aaron Paradis says Cote reported his boat, trailer and accessories stolen on Sept. 9, 2017, saying they were gone when he returned home.

However, Paradis said he found video footage showing Cote driving his truck and towing the boat at the time he said it was stolen.

“When I confronted him about it, he claimed that he may be suffering with dementia and didn’t remember what he did with the boat,” Paradis wrote, adding that he cautioned Cote against filing an insurance claim.

Paradis also wrote that a claim for $5,000 was denied after the insurance company’s investigator checked with Paradis.

On Monday an acquaintance of Cote’s told police Cote had told him he wanted to store the boat so he could make a claim, Paradis wrote.

The same acquaintance had contacted the Mechanic Falls police, which located the boat. “All the identifying marks had been removed or filed off,” Paradis wrote.

Paradis said he interviewed Cote again, and Cote admitted having taken the boat to Mechanic Falls and dropped it off, intending to file a false claim, and said the property owner did not know was the boat was there.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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