Four nabbed in insurance fraud sweep
Four Chester County residents were among 50 people recently charged by the state Attorney General’s Office with insurance fraud, it was announced Monday.
The county residents include a Honey Brook Township man, and three Coatesville residents, all of whom allegedly tried to have insurance cover them for traffic accidents that occurred before their auto insurance policies went into affect.
Attorney General Bruce R. Beemer made the announcement following investigations by his office’s Insurance Fraud Section.
The charges are part of a November sweep conducted by the fraud section, which is the largest law enforcement entity in Pennsylvania with specific authority to investigate and prosecute cases of insurance fraud. The total potential fraud involved in these cases is more than $1.1 million.
“Insurance fraud results in billions of dollars of losses each year,” Beemer said. “This type of fraud also leads to higher insurance rates for everyone, which is why it is important for our office to be diligent in investigating and prosecuting these crimes.”
The charges announced Monday involve some of the most common types of insurance fraud, according to the press release.
David G. Miller III, 32, of the 6200 block of Mount Pleasant Road, Honey Brook, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. According to a criminal complaint filed in support of the charges, Miller’s automobile was uninsured when he was involved in an accident on June 6.
After the accident, he called Allstate Insurance Company to obtain coverage. Later, he provided a recorded statement to
the insurance company in which he allegedly claimed the accident had occurred
after he obtained the insurance policy.
Charles Adams, 42, and Donna L. Smith, 59, both of the 900 block of Madison St., Coatesville, are both charged with one count each of insurance fraud,
criminal attempt to commit theft by deception and criminal conspiracy. Adams is also charged with an additional count of insurance fraud. According to investigators, Adams and Smith, his mother-in-law, both
made misrepresentations to Safe Auto Insurance regarding the timing of an accident that occurred in December 2015.
Smith was reportedly driving Adams’ vehicle when she was involved in a
multi-vehicle accident. Adams allegedly called Safe Auto Insurance after the accident occurred to obtain an insurance policy. Roughly three hours after obtaining the policy, Adams called to report the accident involving his mother-in-law, according to investigators. Both Adams and Smith allegedly provided statements to the insurance company that the accident occurred before the policy went into effect. However, an investigation that included interviews with the other drivers involved in the crash confirmed their statements were false.
Lastly, Kellie Jemison, 38, of the 1100 block of East Lincoln Highway, Coatesville, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, in addition to one separate count of insurance fraud. According to investigators, Jemison in February filed a claim through Safe Auto Insurance Company, her automobile insurance carrier, related to an accident that occurred the previous June.
Further investigation confirmed that the accident occurred before Jemison’s policy took effect. Jemison is accused of providing false information in the fraudulent
claim that she made to her insurance company.
In 1990, the state Legislature made insurance fraud a serious crime in Pennsylvania, punishable by heavy fines and stiff prison sentences.
In 1994, legislation was enacted in Pennsylvania establishing the Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA) and a Fraud Trust Fund. All insurance companies authorized to transact business in Pennsylvania pay an annual assessment into the fund. The funds provide financial support to the Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section and other law enforcement agencies to support insurance fraud investigations and prosecutions.
Private citizens can report allegations of insurance fraud using an online form or by calling the IFPA’s hotline at 1-888-565IFPA (4372).
Consumers with a complaint involving an insurance company that does not involve fraud should contact the Pennsylvania Insurance Department at 1-877-881-6388 or the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.