A man from Ohio who threatened to burn an insurance company after an argument over its marketing policy was recently jailed. Forty-three year old Charles Papenfus was put behind bars last month after failing to post bail over terrorism charges. Papenfus was unable to come up with $45,000 to get temporary freedom while his case was still pending.
According to investigators, the trouble started when a car insurance firm sent a letter to Papenfus, warning that their car’s warranty was about to expire. Angered by the communication, Papenfus phoned the insurance company to complain.
Mr. Papenfus’ lawyer, Douglas Forsyth, says that an argument ensued between his client and a marketing representative from the firm. The row escalated into a verbal match, Forsyth adds. According to the lawyer, the company’s representative called his client names after Papenfus berated the employee and accusing the insurance provider of fraud.
The investigation also reveals that the accused allegedly threatened to burn down the company. He is also thought to have made threats against the firm’s employees. This prompted the insurance provider to file charges against the would-be client.
Insurers across the U.S. are fond of sending out letters to American mailboxes about expiring car warranties even if recipients have do not own vehicles of their own. They are also known to phone random numbers as a marketing strategy to reel in more clients.
Mr. Papenfus’ defense contends that while the accused did indeed own a Ford Taurus, the vehicle was bought from a previous owner, which means that it was not covered by any warranty.
Papenfus’ wife, Tracie, says that although she disagreed with how her husband handled the situation, the legal action being undertaken against him is an “overkill.” Mrs. Papenfus also adds that despite the verbal threats her husband made over the phone, he is not a terrorist.
The bail bond has also been reduced to $5,000 but there is still no word if the accused would come up with the amount and gain his temporary freedom.
Some legal experts are also weighing in on the case, explaining that the threats may not have constituted a terrorism plot. Papenfus’ legal defense also believes that the insurance firm’s reaction to the incident was uncalled for and unfair.
After his arrest, Papenfus was bought to St. Louis, Missouri to face the charges there. A trial is set in the coming weeks that will ultimately decide Papenfus’ fate.