60 charged in statewide in­sur­ance fraud sweep

The Southern Berks News - - LOCAL NEWS -

At­tor­ney General Josh Shapiro to­day an­nounced crim­i­nal charges against 60 Penn­syl­va­ni­ans fol­low­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the At­tor­ney General’s In­sur­ance Fraud Sec­tion.

Twenty-three peo­ple were charged in eastern Penn­syl­va­nia, 10 in cen­tral Penn­syl­va­nia and 27 in western Penn­syl­va­nia.

The charges are the re­sult of a statewide sweep con­ducted by the In­sur­ance Fraud Sec­tion dur­ing the months of Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber 2018. Since At­tor­ney General Shapiro took of­fice in Jan­uary 2017, the Of­fice of At­tor­ney General’s In­sur­ance Fraud sec­tion has charged 367 per­sons with in­sur­ance fraud cases.

The charges an­nounced Fri­day in­volve some of the most com­mon types of in­sur­ance fraud. All cases are still pend­ing.

Among those charged was one man from Pottstown, Jer­mond Harper, 38, of the 700 block of Farm­ing­ton Av­enue. Harper is charged with theft by de­cep­tion, in­sur­ance fraud, forgery and other charges. It is al­leged that Harper filed a theft claim on Novem­ber 13, 2017, claim­ing 18 items were stolen from his ve­hi­cle and sub­mit­ted re­ceipts for mul­ti­ple mink coats and jack­ets val­ued at over $43,000 to sup­port his claim, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties.

“In­sur­ance fraud is a se­ri­ous crime that im­pacts con­sumers and pol­i­cy­hold­ers across our Com­mon­wealth,” At­tor­ney General Shapiro said. “We will ag­gres­sively pros­e­cute any­one who breaks the law by pro­vid­ing false in­for­ma­tion to an in­sur­ance com­pany. When peo­ple com­mit in­sur­ance fraud, it causes pre­mi­ums to rise for the folks who do fol­low the rules. It’s wrong, and we’re tak­ing ac­tion to stop it.”

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