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An Ecorse man was sentenced Monday and ordered to pay more than $40,000 in restitution and serve four years of probation for insurance fraud, state officials said.

An internal investigation by an insurance company found that Emmanuel Christ Palmer had been falsifying documents to receive no-fault benefits after an ambulance transporting him to a hospital in May 2015 was involved in a minor accident, the Michigan Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

"The accident was so minor that the ambulance was still able to take Palmer to the hospital after local police took a report," the release read. "Despite his claims of serious injury, both paramedics observed Palmer getting out of bed and walking around."

The state Department of Insurance and Financial Services' Fraud Investigation Unit  initially investigated the case. It referred the case to the attorney general for criminal charges. 

Palmer, 39, who has previous felony convictions, pleaded guilty to one count each of insurance fraud and false pretenses, more than $1,000 but less than $20,000, state authorities said.

“This case should serve as a strong message to Michigan residents that DIFS and the Attorney General will not overlook those who cheat a system designed to serve those in need,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “While a number of factors contribute to Michigan’s high auto insurance rates, we must take action to reduce the estimated $820 million our state racks up annually in fraud.”

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