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October 2020
Arrests  |  Convictions  | Submit a Referral

Bucks County Doctor Faces Criminal Charges 


 On October 2, 2020, Dr. Gregory Grabon was arrested in Bucks County, following a joint investigation by the Office of Attorney General, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Quakertown Borough Police Department. According to the criminal complaint, in July of 2019, Grabon submitted a claim to New York Life for total disability benefits. The complaint stated that Grabon sought benefits which, had the insurance company paid the claim, would have totaled $38,000 from Grabon’s initial claim of disability to the insurer’s denial of the claim. 
In support of his claim, Grabon allegedly submitted a treating doctor’s verification form which purportedly was completed and signed by a physician in Brooklyn, New York. According to the complaint, an investigation established that the doctor in question had never examined or treated Grabon and did not complete or sign the form. The doctor allegedly told investigators that he last saw Grabon when they both were completing medical school residency programs in 2014.  New York Life denied Grabon’s disability claim after learning that the claim form allegedly had been forged and contained false information.
According to the complaint, the joint law enforcement investigation also revealed that for several years, Grabon illegally wrote and filled numerous prescriptions for the drug Ambien or its generic equivalent. Grabon allegedly obtained the drugs to feed his own addiction. Grabon was charged with one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F1), three counts of Forgery (M1), one count of Insurance Fraud (F3), 26 counts of Identity Theft (M1) and 25 counts of Violation of the Controlled Substances Act (F). 
On October 30, 2020, Willis McFadden was arrested in Fayette County.  According to the criminal complaint, on January 13, 2020, McFadden purchased a new Nationwide automobile insurance policy. The complaint stated that on January 2, 2020, McFadden contacted Nationwide and claimed that his vehicle was damaged in an accident which occurred on January 10, 2020. Investigators allegedly found that McFadden previously had filed a claim with Dairyland Insurance for damage to the same vehicle. Dairyland had denied that claim because McFadden’s policy did not include collision coverage. According to the complaint, Nationwide determined that McFadden’s current claim involved vehicle damage which occurred prior to the inception of his Nationwide policy.  McFadden was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3), one count of Criminal Attempt Theft by Deception (F3), and one count of Theft by Deception (M1).
 
On October 27, 2020, Jenna Alessio was arrested in Allegheny County.  According to the criminal complaint, Alessio purchased a Progressive Insurance automobile policy on February 17, 2020, after her previous policy with Erie Insurance lapsed and was cancelled for nonpayment. On the following day, Alessio allegedly contacted Progressive and claimed that her vehicle struck a deer as she was driving home from her job at a restaurant. According to the complaint, an investigation revealed that Alessio no longer worked at the restaurant and now was employed at a veterinary clinic. Her current employer allegedly confirmed that Alessio contacted the clinic on February 16, 2020 and advised that her car had struck a deer. Progressive allegedly determined that the loss occurred prior to the inception of Alessio’s policy and denied her claim. Alessio was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3) and one count of Criminal Attempt Theft by Deception (F3).
•    On October 26, 2020, Matthew Schafte was arrested in Montgomery County.  According to the criminal complaint, Schafte obtained a State Farm Automobile policy on December 24, 2018. He allegedly contacted the insurer later that day and claimed that his vehicle was involved in a deer strike accident. During an investigation of the claim, the insurer allegedly determined that Schafte had been involved in a two vehicle accident several days prior to the inception of his policy. Further, investigators confirmed that Schafte’s vehicle was impounded by State Police and was parked at the impound yard on December 24, the date that Schafte allegedly told State Farm that his vehicle struck a deer. The claim was denied. Schafte was charged with two counts of Insurance Fraud (F3), one count of Criminal Use of Communication Facility (F3) and one count of Theft by Deception (M1).
On October 24, 2020 Jeanne Campos was arrested on a warrant that was issued in Montgomery County.  According to the criminal complaint, Campos’ vehicle was uninsured when it was involved in a two-vehicle accident on September 8, 2018 around 11:45 am.   After the accident, Campos allegedly went online and obtained a Progressive Insurance policy for her vehicle.  On September 9, 2018 at approximately 1:11 pm, she allegedly contacted the insurer and reported that her vehicle had been damaged in an accident on September 8, 2018. However, according to the complaint, witnesses to the accident confirmed that the loss actually occurred on September 8, 2018, which was before Campos obtained her Progressive policy.  Campos was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3), one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3), and one count of Criminal Use of Communication Facility (F3).

•    On October 26, 2020, Tawanda Johnson was arrested on a warrant issued in Chester County. According to the criminal complaint, on July 2, 2019 the “Marketplace” at 2300 W. 4th St. in Chester, PA was flooded by a significant amount of rain. The Marketplace is a large warehouse, which contains sections that are rented by sellers, similar to a flea market. On February 5, 2020, Johnson filed a claim with Travelers Insurance in which she allegedly reported that she rented space at the Marketplace for a business that she owned and that the July 2 flood had damaged her inventory. The complaint stated that on February 5, Johnson provided photographs and documents to the insurer in support of her claim for a loss which totaled approximately $5,670.00. Johnson allegedly submitted three receipts which totaled $2,250.00 for the purchase of designer shoes and handbags that purportedly were damaged by the flooding. According to the complaint, the receipts indicated that Johnson bought the items at Nola’s Designer Warehouse in Wilmington, DE.  Johnson also allegedly provided two receipts from a professional cleaning service which totaled $2,401.56. According to the complaint, Travelers noted that one of the cleaning receipts was dated prior to the date of the flood. Travelers allegedly found that the businesses listed on the receipts did not exist. The insurer denied payment of Johnson’s claim. Johnson was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3), one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3), and one count of Forgery(M1). 
 On October 21, 2020, Edward Bickings was arrested in   Montgomery County.  According to the criminal complaint, on August 28, 2019, Bickings allegedly contacted GEICO and added comprehensive and collision coverage to his vehicle policy. The complaint further stated that Bickings filed an online claim with the insurer on September 30, in which he reported that his vehicle was damaged when he drove it through standing water while returning home from Maryland on September 16. Investigators obtained a report from the tow company that Bickings used. The report allegedly revealed that the car was towed at 8:57 PM on August 28, which was before Bickings added comprehensive and collision coverage to his policy. According to the complaint, Bickings withdrew his claim after being confronted with the findings. Bickings was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3), one count of Insurance Fraud (M1), one count of Criminal Attempt/ Theft by Deception (F3), and one count of Criminal Use of Communication Facility (F3).
 On October 19, 2020, Phillip Weaver was arrested in Lancaster County. According to the criminal complaint, Weaver was a licensed insurance producer who operated the Weaver Group Insurance, LLC, in New Holland. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department revoked Weaver’s insurance producer’s license on November 1, 2018. On April 24, 2019, the Department received information alleging that Weaver was conducting insurance business without a license. According to the complaint, on April 29, the Insurance Department received an Insurance Producer and Title Agency renewal form on behalf of Weaver Group Insurance, LLC. According to the complaint, the form purportedly was signed by one of Weaver’s former coworkers at the agency. The complaint further stated that during May and June of 2019, several homeowner policy applications and some amended policy declarations were submitted to the Farms Fire Insurance Company on behalf of Weaver Group customers. Weaver’s former coworker allegedly was listed as the producer on each of the policies. According to the complaint, the Insurance Department conducted a records check and found that the Weaver Group Insurance LLC had an inactive license which expired on March 31, 2019.  The Department conducted an investigation and on July 9, investigators paid a surprise visit to Weaver at the agency’s office in New Holland. According to the complaint, Weaver had initially denied conducting any insurance business, but now admitted to investigators that he has been maintaining insurance for his current customers and that he had worked on two new policies. Weaver allegedly provided the investigator with paperwork from those policies purportedly indicated that Weaver’s former co-worker had produced and signed the policies. On July 31, the investigator interviewed the former coworker by telephone. According to the complaint, the coworker stated that she previously worked at the Weaver Group, but had not done any insurance work since 2016.  The coworker allegedly told the investigator that she did not know that her license was being used to conduct new business and she denied signing or submitting any insurance paperwork. According to the complaint, further investigation revealed that Weaver, not his former coworker, had been servicing the customers and writing the policies in question. Weaver was charged with three counts of Insurance Fraud (F3) and four counts of Forgery (F3). 
 On October 14, 2020, Susan Matheison, arrested in Mercer County.  According to the complaint, on June 25, 2020, Mathieson contacted Allstate Insurance and requested reinstatement of her auto policy which cancelled at the beginning of the month.  On June 25, 2020, Mathieson also allegedly purchased comprehensive, collision and rental coverage for a 2008 Ford Taurus which she purportedly owned. According to the complaint, Mathieson contacted Allstate on July 9 and filed a claim for damage to the Ford Taurus which she said had occurred earlier that morning. Mathieson allegedly submitted photos of the damage to the insurer. According to the complaint, the insurer noted that the photos were timestamped prior to the time when Mathieson obtained coverage for the Taurus. During the claims process, Allstate received information alleging that Mathieson did not own the vehicle and was not driving it at the time of the accident. Allstate contacted the actual owner of the vehicle, who allegedly stated that the accident occurred on June 15, 2020, which was prior to the policy inception. Mathieson was charged with one count each of Insurance Fraud (F3), Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3), Insurance Fraud (M1) and one count of Theft by Deception (M1).
On October 16, 2020, Catrina Denise Cryor was arrested in Delaware County.   According to the criminal complaint, on September 10, 2019, Cryor’s vehicle struck a motorcycle while traveling on the highway. Cryor allegedly presented a Good 2 Go Auto Insurance identification card to the operator of the motorcycle, who subsequently filed a claim with the insurer. According to the complaint, the insurer discovered that Cryor was not insured by Good 2 Go at the time of the accident. Moreover, the insurer allegedly determined that the Good 2 Go identification card Cryor showed to the other driver was counterfeit. Good 2 Go denied the claim. A further investigation allegedly revealed that on December 3, 2018, Cryor had used the same identification card as proof of insurance when she titled and registered her vehicle through a tag shop in Delaware County. Cryor was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F-3), one count of Forgery (F-3), one count of False Application for Certificate of Title or Registration (M-1), one county of Altered, Forged or Counterfeit Documents and Plates (M-1), and one count of Attempted Theft by Deception (M-1).

On October 14, 2020, Eric Sudbrink was arrested in Lancaster County. According to the criminal complaint, on May 2, 2019, Sudbrink filed a claim with State Farm Insurance in which he reported that someone had vandalized his Volkswagen Jetta with spray paint. The complaint further stated that Sudbrink had lowered his policy’s comprehensive deductible from $1,000 to $0 approximately one month earlier. In reviewing Sudbrink’s claim, the insurer allegedly noted that State Farm had paid Sudbrink’s previous claim for vandalism to the same vehicle. In that March 2020 claim, Sudbrink allegedly reported that a neighbor had deliberately scratched the paint on his Jetta. According to the complaint, in regard to Sudbrink’s May 2nd claim, insurance investigators noted that the color of the spray paint was similar to the color of Sudbrink’s vehicle and had been sprayed directly over the prior vandalism damage to the Jetta. Sudbrink allegedly insisted that he had not sprayed the paint and that someone else had vandalized his vehicle. The insurer denied the claim. When investigators confronted Sudbrink, he allegedly admitted that he bought the paint and had used it to try to fix the scratches on his car. Sudbrink was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F-3) and one count of Criminal Attempt / Theft by Deception (M-1).

On October 14, 2020, Majestie Johnson was arrested in Allegheny County.  According to the criminal complaint, at approximately 11:48 PM on February 22, 2020, Johnson was driving her uninsured vehicle when it rear-ended a stopped vehicle.  Police responded to the accident scene and documented the time and date in a report.  Approximately one hour later, at 12:43 PM, Johnson allegedly purchased a Progressive Insurance automobile insurance policy for her vehicle.  According to the complaint, on April 6, 2020, Johnson filed a claim with Progressive in which she reported that the accident had occurred at 3:00 PM on February 22. The insurer obtained a copy of the police crash report and interviewed the other involved driver, who allegedly confirmed that the accident occurred at 11:28 AM, before Johnson obtained her Progressive coverage. The insurer denied the claim. Johnson was charged with one count each of Insurance Fraud (F3) and one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3).

On October 13, 2020, Quintin Burke was arrested in Dauphin County.  According to the criminal complaint, Burke contacted his vehicle insurer, GEICO, on November 10, 2019 and claimed that his 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan had been damaged in an accident that day. GEICO records revealed that Burke had added collision coverage to the Caravan’s policy a day earlier. In a recorded statement to GEICO, Burke allegedly maintained that his vehicle had not been involved in any accidents prior to the November 10 date of loss. The complaint stated that investigators confirmed that a Pennsylvania State Police trooper had cited Burke for careless driving following a November 1 accident. Further, investigators allegedly confirmed that Burke’s Caravan was towed from the accident scene to a garage and remained there through November 10, the purported date of loss from Burke’s GEICO claim. GEICO denied the claim after determining that Burke’s vehicle had been damaged before collision coverage was added to his policy. Burke was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3) and one count of Criminal Attempt / Theft by Deception (M1). 

On October 13, 2020, Raheem Schell was arrested in Philadelphia County. According to the criminal complaint, at approximately 3:00 AM on December 8, 2018, a Progressive insured driver reported striking a parked vehicle at 2:30 AM. At 3:30 AM, Raheem Schell allegedly called Progressive and stated that the Progressive insured struck at least five parked cars and a pedestrian. According to the complaint, Schell claimed that his 2000 Chevy Tahoe was one of the parked vehicles damaged in the accident. The complaint further stated that the Progressive insured cooperated with the insurance company investigation and told investigators that his vehicle struck only one car and did not strike a pedestrian. According to the complaint, Schell gave a recorded statement to Progressive in which he claimed that his vehicle was damaged in the accident and that he had photos. On December 10, 2018, Schell allegedly provided the insurers with photos of his damaged vehicle. However, according to the complaint, the metadata revealed that the photos were taken on November 2, nearly a week before the accident in question. When a Progressive representative asked Schell about the date discrepancy, Schell allegedly did not provide an explanation. The complaint stated that Schell told a Progressive inspector that he had repaired the Tahoe and provided the inspector with a receipt for the purported purchase of approximately $3000 in repair parts from Stone Auto. According to the complaint, Progressive was unable to locate Stone Auto. During Progressive’s investigation of the claim, a witness to the accident allegedly confirmed that the Progressive insured’s vehicle struck only one parked vehicle, a GMC Denali. A Philadelphia police report confirmed that only the Denali was damaged in the accident. According to the complaint, Schell subsequently admitted to an investigator that his vehicle was only slightly damaged and that he actually paid only $800 for the repair parts. Schell was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3), one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3), and one count of Criminal use of a Communication Facility (F3). 
On October 9, 2020, William Gomez was arrested in Allegheny County.  On May 6, 2020, 3:56PM Gomez purchased a new Progressive Insurance automobile policy. Eleven minutes later, Gomez called Progressive and allegedly reported that his vehicle had rear-ended another vehicle shortly after Gomez purchased his policy. However, according to the complaint, the driver of the other involved vehicle and another witness reported that the accident occurred earlier. The driver allegedly provided the insurer with a time-stamped photograph of Gomez’s driver license, which was taken shortly after the accident occurred. According to the complaint, the photo’s metadata confirmed that the picture was taken before Gomez secured coverage. Progressive denied the claims. Gomez was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3) and one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3).
 On October 8, 2020, Carlos Aponte was arrested in Berks County. According to the criminal complaint, shortly after 5 PM on May 11, 2020, Aponte called his Spring Ridge Insurance Services agent and applied for coverage of a residential rental property that Aponte owned in Reading. The agent allegedly asked Aponte a series of application questions and recorded his answers. According to the complaint, Aponte was asked to list any losses that had occurred at the property or other location within the previous five years. In his response, Aponte allegedly failed to mention that a fire had taken place at the rental property at approximately 4:30 PM that afternoon. The complaint stated that Aponte electronically signed the application, which was submitted to Windsor Mount Joy Insurance Company at approximately 6:30 PM. On May 14, a public adjuster submitted a claim for the fire loss on behalf of Aponte. According to the complaint, the claim paperwork indicated that the loss occurred at 7 PM on May 11. Windsor Mount Joy investigated and allegedly confirmed that the property caught fire before Aponte applied for coverage. Aponte subsequently withdrew his claim. Aponte was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3), one count of Insurance Fraud (M1) and one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3).
On October 7, 2020, Larry Marino was arrested in Dauphin County.  According to the criminal complaint, on November 2, 2019, Marino purchased coverage for his 2011 GMC Yukon from Progressive Insurance. On November 7, Marino contacted Progressive and allegedly reported that the Yukon’s passenger side front fender, bumper and headlight were damaged in an accident on November 6, 2019. According to the complaint, an investigation revealed that on November 1, 2019, a police officer cited Marino for a faulty front passenger headlamp on his vehicle. The complaint further stated that during the encounter, Marino told the officer that the damage was the result of a deer strike. The officer allegedly told the insurance investigator that he had observed deer hair on the front passenger side of Marino’s vehicle. Progressive determined that Marino’s Yukon was damaged prior to his policy inception and denied his claim. Marino was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3) and one count of Insurance Fraud (M1).
 Criminal charges were filed in Dauphin County on October 5, 2020 against Edwin Puglia. Edwin’s wife Valerie Puglia was arrested in Dauphin County on October 7, 2020. According to the criminal complaint, an insurance agent contacted Progressive Insurance on September 30, 2019, and filed a vehicle accident claim on behalf of Valerie Puglia. In a subsequent conversation with the insurer, Ms. Puglia allegedly stated that while she was driving her 2013 KIA Sorrento on September 28, she lost control of the vehicle and it struck a pole. According to the complaint, when the representative pointed out that Valerie's husband, Edwin Puglia, was listed as an excluded driver on the vehicle policy, Valerie maintained that she was driving when the accident occurred. On October 9, 2019, Valerie Puglia allegedly told Progressive Insurance that she had been driving home from a friend’s house around midnight on September 28 when the accident occurred. According to the complaint, the insurer subsequently obtained a Harrisburg Police Department report of the September 28 accident, which listed Edwin Puglia as the driver of Valerie's KIA. Also, the report allegedly revealed that Edwin was charged with DUI following the accident. According to the complaint, Edwin Puglia spoke with Progressive on October 22, and allegedly claimed that Valerie was the driver and that Edwin and another man were passengers in the KIA on September 28. Edwin allegedly maintained that when the other man pulled a gun, Valerie lost control of the KIA and crashed. The insurer denied the claim. According to the complaint, Valerie subsequently admitted to investigators that she was at home in bed when Edwin called and informed her of the accident. Edwin and Valerie were each charged two counts of Insurance Fraud (F3), one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3) and one count of Conspiracy to Commit/Theft by Deception (F3).


On October 6, 2020, Brittany Norenberg was arrested in Franklin County.   According to the complaint, at 6:30 AM on November 22, 2019, Norenberg was involved in an accident while driving her uninsured vehicle. At 7:05 AM, Norenberg allegedly initiated the process to obtain an auto policy for her vehicle from Progressive Insurance. According to the complaint, Norenberg added rental car reimbursement and roadside assistance to her vehicle policy at 7:50 AM. Then at 8:12 AM, she allegedly called Progressive and reported that her vehicle had been in an accident which occurred between 7:15 AM and 7:30 AM, shortly after she obtained coverage. However, according to the criminal complaint, a police crash report revealed that authorities were notified of the accident at 6:30 AM, dispatched at 6:49 AM and arrived at the scene at 6:55 AM. Two other witnesses allegedly confirmed that the crash occurred prior to the time of Norenberg’s policy inception.  Norenberg allegedly admitted to investigators that she had been driving her vehicle without insurance between November 11 and November 22, 2019. Progressive denied the claim. Norenberg was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3) and one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3).
 On October 2, 2020, Jalene Goods was arrested in Allegheny County.  According to the complaint, on May 16, 2020, Goods filed a claim with Progressive Insurance in which she reported that her vehicle was rear-ended at a drive-thru restaurant and sustained damage to its trunk and rear bumper. Progressive noted that the insurer had paid a similar claim for damage to Goods’ vehicle in September 2019.  According to the complaint, Goods told Progressive that the prior damage had been repaired by a local body shop. She allegedly provided the insurer with copies of the purported repair invoices. However, investigators allegedly could not locate the body shop and determined that it did not exist. According to the complaint, license plate reader photos of Goods’ vehicle revealed that the damage to the trunk and bumper was not repaired following the September 2019 accident. Progressive denied the claim.  Goods was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3) and one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3). 
On October 2, 2020, Charles Potoka was arrested in Westmoreland County. According to the complaint, at approximately 12:30 PM on December 5, 2019, Potoka’s 26 year old nephew was operating a Potoka Trucking company tow truck when it was involved in an accident at a UPS distribution center in Johnstown.  On December 6, 2019 at approximately 1:12 PM, Potoka called Progressive Insurance and allegedly added the tow truck to the company’s existing policy. According to the complaint, the policy did not list Potoka’s nephew as an insured driver. On December 11, Potoka filed a claim with Progressive Insurance in which he allegedly stated that the accident occurred while he was driving the tow truck at approximately 6:30 PM on December 6. However, the complaint stated that witnesses described the driver of the tow truck as a male in his late teens to early 20s. Moreover, photos taken by witnesses at the accident scene allegedly revealed that the incident occurred at approximately 12:30 PM on December 5, the day before Potoka added the tow truck to his policy. Potoka was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3) and one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3).
 
On October 1, 2020, Denise Solomon was arrested in Chester County.  According to the criminal complaint, Solomon obtained a Progressive automobile policy on September 29, 2018 at 1:13 PM.  The complaint stated that Solomon had been sitting in her parked vehicle when it was struck in the rear by an unidentified vehicle. On October 4, 2020, Solomon spoke with Progressive and reported the accident, allegedly claiming that it had occurred on September 29, 2020 around 2:30 PM.   According to the complaint, 911 call records revealed that the accident occurred approximately an hour before Solomon obtained coverage for the vehicle. The claim was denied. Solomon   was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud (F3), one count of Criminal Use of Communication Facility (F3), and one count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception (F3). 
 
On October 14, 2020, Charles Borneman was sentenced in Berks County after entering into a negotiated plea to one count of  Criminal Attempt/ Theft by Deception (M1). On August 3, 2017, Borneman’s Progressive Insurance vehicle policy was cancelled for non-payment. At approximately 2:55 PM on August 25, Borneman was involved in a two vehicle accident. His spouse contacted the insurer at 3:10 PM on August 25 and obtained a new vehicle policy which included comprehensive and collision coverage. On August 26 at 11:00 AM, Borneman contacted Progressive and reported that his vehicle had been involved in an accident at 4:00 PM on the previous day. An investigation revealed that the accident actually occurred prior to the policy inception. Progressive denied the claim. Borneman was sentenced to serve 24 months of probation. He was ordered to perform 25 hours of community service and to pay a $500.00 fine and court costs.
On October 26, 2020, Arno Bernadin was sentenced in Lancaster County after entering a negotiated plea to one count of Criminal Attempt/ Theft by Deception (M1).  On November 29, 2018, Bernadin obtained a vehicle policy from National General Insurance. On December 8, Bernadin filed a claim in which he reported that the passenger side of his Nissan Quest was struck by another vehicle which then left the scene. During an inspection, Bernadin told the National General adjuster that the impact dented the top right fender of his Quest and scraped and dented the vehicle’s lower passenger side bumper area. The claims representative found Bernadin’s description of the crash to be inconsistent with the damage depicted in the adjuster’s photos, so an expert was hired to provide an opinion. The expert concluded that the damage occurred during two separate incidents. The claims representative subsequently discovered that Bernadin had filed three prior damage claims under his former Progressive policy, for losses that occurred in October, 2017, March, 2018 and April, 2018. When Bernadin was asked about the Progressive claims, he initially told the insurer that he had repaired the earlier damage. Later, he maintained that the prior damage was worsened by the December 8 accident. Investigators compared photos from Bernadin’s current and prior claims and determined that most of the claimed damage was preexisting. National General denied payment. Bernadin was sentenced to serve 23 months of probation, perform 50 hours of community service, and pay all court costs.
On October 6, 2020, Ciara Yarde was sentenced in DauphinCounty after entering a negotiated plea to Criminal Attempt/ Theft by Deception (M1). On April 1, 2019, Yarde’s GEICO Insurance policy was cancelled due to non-payment. She reinstated her prior coverage at 12:55 PM on August 6, 2019. At 8:18 AM the next day, Yarde filed a theft claim with GEICO. Yarde told the insurer she realized that her vehicle was missing at approximately 2 PM on August 6, 2019. She advised GEICO that she had reported the theft to local police at 2:17 PM on August 6. However, an investigation revealed that Yarde actually filed the police report at 11:37 AM, which was before she reinstated her GEICO coverage. The insurer denied the claim. Yarde was sentenced to serve two years of probation. She was ordered to pay a fine of $500.00 to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Fund and to perform 50 hours of community service.
On October 2, 2020, Thomas Boyer was sentenced in Mercer County after entering a negotiated plea to one count of Theft by Deception (M1).  On July 1, 2019, Boyer added comprehensive and collision coverage to his Progressive Insurance policy. On July 6, Boyer filed a claim with Progressive in which he stated that his motorcycle had collided with a deer earlier that day.  Boyer claimed that he and a friend managed to drive the motorcycle back to the friend’s home. Boyer told Progressive that his girlfriend could also verify the date of the accident. Both Boyer’s friend and his girlfriend told the insurer that the accident occurred on July 6.  However, a subsequent investigation revealed that the loss occurred before Boyer added the coverage to his motorcycle policy. Progressive denied the claim. Boyer was sentenced to a term of 30 days to 6 months of house arrest, followed by 3 years of probation. He was also ordered perform 50 hours of community service and to pay all court costs


On October 2, 2020, Jamisha Ryans was sentenced in Montgomery County after entering a negotiated plea to three counts of Insurance Fraud (F3). On January 25, 2017, Ryans obtained a 12 month renter’s policy from Allstate Insurance. On February 4, 2017, she reported the theft of her purse which contained a Rolex watch and expensive diamond stud earrings. Ryans initially told Allstate that the items were taken when she was mugged outside a Philadelphia nightclub. She later claimed that the theft occurred inside the club. During an investigation, Allstate learned that a month earlier, Ryans filed a claim with Travelers for the theft of property which included the Rolex. A comparison of claim documents revealed that Ryans had submitted the same Neiman Marcus purchase receipt to both Allstate and Travelers. Allstate denied Ryans’ claim on February 9, 2017. Later that day, Ryans filed a second claim under her still valid policy with Travelers. As she had done with Allstate, Ryans claimed that her purse and its contents were stolen at a night club on February 4. Ryans submitted photos of a yellow Lego Chanel bag to Travelers. The insurer denied the claim after learning that Ryans had submitted the same photos of the bag to Allstate. Several months later, Ryans obtained personal property insurance from USAA Insurance. She subsequently submitted a claim for the loss of items which included a pair of diamond stud earrings. USAA contacted Travelers and Allstate and determined that Ryans had previously claimed the loss of the same earrings with both insurers. USAA denied Ryans’ claim. Ryans was sentenced to serve a total of 3 years of probation, ordered to perform 250 hours of community service, and to pay all fines and costs.
(ARD) Dispositions

During the month of October, five additional defendants received Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). 

Anti-Fraud Compliance - Reporting of insurance Fraud to Law Enforcement Agency

Pennsylvania Bulletin Notice 2016-04 (issued April 30, 2016) reminded insurers of their obligations to report suspected arson or insurance fraud to law enforcement agencies within the Commonwealth.  The bulletin also announced a decision by the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance to allow licensees to satisfy their reporting obligation when they electronically submit reports of suspected fraud to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
 
On July 6, 2017, Pennsylvania began participating in this online service which enables member companies to electronically forward reports of suspected fraud to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section or other appropriate law enforcement agencies at the same time the companies report suspicious claims to the NICB. NOTE: The NICB is not a law enforcement agency. Therefore, a licensee cannot satisfy the fraud reporting requirement by submitting a non-electronic (paper) referral only to the NICB.
 
Important: When utilizing electronic filing through NICB, users should take careful note of the provided instructions regarding the “Party” to a claim.  Information entered about a Party will only be transmitted to law enforcement if users select one of two options: “This Party was subject to an SIU investigation” or “This Party was subject to an enforcement action.”  Some users have missed this notation about individual Party data and consequently have submitted incomplete information to law enforcement.

This newsletter was produced by the PA Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section and edited by Senior Deputy Attorney General John T. Dickinson.

Copyright © 2018 Office of Attorney General 
All rights reserved.


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