The owner of one of the rarest sports cars ever assembled has landed in hot water after he deliberately crashed into a swamp in an attempt to claim a $US2.2 million payout.
In 2009, Andy Lee House, a 39-year-old Texan car-dealer, told authorities a pelican made him swerve and crash his $US1 million Bugatti Veyron into a swamp, leaving the engine running when he fled because a horde of mosquitoes.
However, a video of the car, capable of more than 400km/h, crashing into the swamp emerged after a passing motorist recorded the incident and posted it on YouTube.
The video soon found its way to authorities and was used as evidence by the insurance company in the lawsuit, claiming House made no effort to brake and that there was no pelican in the video.
The insurers, Philadelphia Indemnity, also said they found no skid marks at the scene and the car expert should have known not to leave the car engine running in shallow water.
Only three weeks before the crash, House had bought collector’s insurance, valuing the car at $2.2 million, but the insurance company also argued the accident occurred outside the scope of collector vehicle cover since he had driven more than 1000 miles.
After a failed attempt to counter-sue on the grounds that they were withholding his money, House pleaded guilty to fraud and faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
Only 300 of the 2006 Bugatti Veyron were ever made.