Philadelphia, March 10, 2011: The District Attorney’s Office has charged two people, including a Philadelphia police officer, with filing fraudulent insurance claims after a lengthy investigation by the Grand Jury, Police Internal Affairs and District Attorney’s Detectives. Sergeant Dwayne Darby is charged with Attempted Theft by Deception, Perjury, and Criminal Conspiracy. Kariem Mangum is charged with Insurance Fraud, Attempted Theft, Perjury, False Reports to Law Enforcement and Criminal Conspiracy.
These charges are the result of a seven-month Grand Jury investigation which focused on the involvement of Mangum, Sergeant Darby and Philadelphia Police Officer Kristopher Epes (now deceased) in the filing of allegedly fraudulent insurance claims for the thefts of two cars. They found that the motive for these allegedly fraudulent claims was the avoidance of costly car loan payments.
The claims in question were filed by Police Officer Epes with Nationwide Insurance for the reported theft of his 2007 Dodge Magnum on January 4, 2010, and by Mangum with Victoria Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Nationwide, for the reported theft of his 2006 Volvo sometime between January 8 and 12, 2010. Both cars were recovered on February 26, 2010, when Newark Delaware Police executed a search warrant at Nick’s Towing and Recovery in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Grand Jury based its conclusions and findings on information provided by numerous witnesses. These witnesses included Special Investigators Kelly Cover and Carolyn Lewis of Nationwide Insurance, and Detective Donald Murtha of the District Attorney’s Insurance Fraud Unit, professionals in the field of insurance fraud investigations. The Grand Jury also heard testimony from Philadelphia Police Officer Linda Crusemire, and Newark Delaware Police Corporal Greg Micolucci, who provided information regarding the recovery of evidence, and civilians, who had direct knowledge regarding why and how the vehicles were transported to and stored in Delaware. The Grand Jury also reviewed the results of forensic examinations of the recovered vehicles that showed there was no physical evidence to support the claims that the vehicles had been stolen. Bank records obtained by the Grand Jury pertaining to accounts belonging to Mangum showed debit card and teller transactions in Philadelphia between January 8 and 11, 2010, which contradicted statements given by Mangum and Sergeant Darby to the insurance company that they were in New York when the Volvo was stolen in Philadelphia. The Grand Jury evaluated all of this evidence and concluded that the cars belonging to Mangum and Police Officer Epes had been transported to and stored in Delaware with the knowledge and consent of their owners as part of a plan to file the allegedly fraudulent insurance claims.
The Grand Jury also found that Sergeant Darby was cohabitating with Mangum, which gave him a financial interest in the outcome of the false claim. The Grand Jury further determined that Sergeant Darby allegedly conspired with Mangum in the scheme to falsely report Mangum’s car stolen in order to collect from Victoria Insurance Company. Finally, a thorough review of Mangum’s insurance policy revealed to the Grand Jury that Mangum made allegedly false statements when he applied for the insurance policy.
Assistant District Attorney Janet Turnbull is specially assigned to this case. The maximum sentence for Kariem Mangum if convicted of all charges is 34 years in prison, a fine of $72,500, and a civil penalty of $15,000. Sergeant Darby is facing a maximum of 21 years in prison if he is found guilty of all charges with a fine of $45,000. Both defendants were arrested today.