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Video footage transforms banana peel lawsuit into fraud case

Nov. 27, 2013 at 5:30 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Authorities in Washington said a man who filed a personal injury lawsuit faces fraud charges because surveillance video shows him setting up his own fall.

Maurice Owens, 42, filed a $15,000 lawsuit against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority alleging he needed chiropractic treatment after slipping and falling on a banana peel at the Potomac Avenue Metro station in August, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

However, the lawsuit was thrown out when Metro officials produced a security tape depicting Owens dropping the banana peel before intentionally falling.

"Through our investment in digital camera systems across the system, we are demonstrating our commitment to protecting fare-paying riders and the region's taxpayers from fraudulent claims," Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said.

Owens faces a felony charge of second-degree fraud, authorities said.

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