MAN FILES FRAUDULENT PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM AGAINST SEPTA AND ERIE INSURANCE COMPANY

September 9, 2016 by

Charges:

Theft by Deception 18 Pa C.S. § 3922 – F3

Insurance Fraud 18 Pa C.S. § 4117 – F3

Philadelphia – Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit investigated James Whitfield after receiving a referral from Erie Insurance Company. On August 2, 2015, an Erie insured van struck the exterior mirror of a parked SEPTA bus in the vicinity of 23rd Street and Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia. Whitfield was a passenger on the SEPTA Route 61 bus and he alleged that he injured his right arm, right elbow and neck as a result of this accident. Whitfield retained an attorney to file a personal injury claim against SEPTA and Erie Insurance Company on his behalf and he also sought medical treatment for his alleged injuries.

Insurance Fraud Unit detectives retrieved the Erie claim file which included a statement from the driver of the van. The driver stated that he was attempting to pass the SEPTA bus when the passenger side mirror of his van struck the driver’s side mirror of the bus. The Erie insured driver stated that he stop and spoke with the bus driver and a SEPTA supervisor, but soon left because there was no damage to either vehicle. Insurance Fraud Unit detectives also spoke to the operator of the bus who stated that her bus was not damaged during this incident nor were any of her passengers injured. The operator also stated that the only damages that the van sustained were minor scratches and a dent on the right side mirror. Detectives then retrieved the surveillance footage from the Route 61 van which showed that other than looking towards the van, Whitfield had no other reaction to the accident. He did not hit his arm as he claimed, nor was he jolted in any way.

Whitman was arrested on August 23, 2016 for submitting a fraudulent injury claim to SEPTA. He was charged with Theft by Deception and Insurance Fraud and is next scheduled to appear in Philadelphia Municipal Court on October 4, 2016 for a status listing.

MAN FRAUDULENTLY CASHES STATE WORKER’S INSURANCE FUND WORKER’S COMPENSATION CHECKS

September 9, 2016 by

Charges:

Forgery 18 Pa C.S. § 4101 – F3

Conspiracy 18 Pa C.S. § 903 – F3

Theft by Unlawful Taking 18 Pa C.S. § 3921 – F3

Theft by Deception 18 Pa C.S. § 3922 – F3

Access Device Fraud 18 Pa C.S. § 4106 – F3

Securing Execution of Documents 18 Pa C.S. § 4114 – M2

Philadelphia – Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit (IFU) investigated James Davis after receiving a referral from Special Investigators in the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury. The investigation revealed that the State Worker’s Insurance Fund (SWIF) had been paying workers’ compensation benefits to Elwell Davis prior to his death in 1980. Following Elwell Davis’ death, his surviving spouse, Elizabeth Davis, successfully petitioned to receive his SWIF benefit checks. In October of 2011, SWIF reviewed this claim and discovered that Elizabeth Davis had died in July of 2010. Subsequent to July 2010, sixteen SWIF benefit checks payable to Elizabeth Davis had been deposited into a number of different bank accounts.

After verifying Elizabeth Davis’ death by obtaining a death certificate, IFU detectives reviewed the checks and retrieved bank records. The records indicated that eleven of the sixteen checks had been endorsed “Elizabeth Davis to James Davis” and then signed “James Davis.” Bank records show that these checks were deposited into James Davis’ SB1 Federal Credit Union account using a Citizens Bank ATM machine.  Based on bank records and interviews, IFU detectives determined that Davis had allegedly deposited SWIF benefit checks belonging to the decedent, Elizabeth Davis. Davis was arrested for Forgery, Theft by Unlawful Taking, Theft by Deception, Access Device Fraud, Securing Execution and Criminal Conspiracy on August 18, 2016. Davis is next scheduled to appear for a status listing on September 27, 2016 in Philadelphia Municipal Court.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR REPORTING AN ACCIDENT TO SAFE AUTO INSURANCE COMPANY THAT OCCURRED DURING A POLICY LAPSE

September 9, 2016 by

 

Charges:

Insurance Fraud 18 Pa C.S. § 4117 – F3

Attempted Theft by Deception 18 Pa C.S. § 3922 – F3

Philadelphia – Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit arrested Luvenia Cottrell after receiving a referral from Safe Auto Insurance Company. On June 17, 2014, Cottrell was involved in a hit and run accident while her vehicle was parked along the 4800 block of Whitaker Avenue in Philadelphia. When Cottrell reported her accident to Safe Auto Insurance Company, she was told that her policy had been cancelled on June 10, 2014 for non-payment. On July 2, 2014, Cottrell reinstated her Safe Auto Insurance policy and then filed a claim on July 9, 2014 for damages identical to the ones caused by her earlier accident. The investigation revealed that Cottrell reported an accident that had occurred prior to the reinstatement of her Safe Auto Insurance Company policy. Cottrell was arrested for Insurance Fraud and Attempted Theft by Deception on August 22, 2016. She is next scheduled to appear in Philadelphia Municipal Court for a status listing on October 3, 2016.

MAN ARRESTED FOR REGISTERING VEHICLE WITH FRAUDULENT NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COMPANY FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IDENTIFICATION CARD

September 9, 2016 by

 

Charges:

Forgery 18 Pa C.S. § 4101 – F3

Insurance Fraud 18 Pa C.S. § 4117 – F3

Tampering with Public Records or Information 18 Pa C.S. § 4911 – F3

False Swearing 18 Pa C.S. § 4903 – M2

Unsworn Falsification to Authorities 18 Pa C.S. § 4904 – M2

Tampering With Records or Identification 18 Pa C.S. § 4104 – M1

Securing Execution of Documents by Deception 18 Pa C.S. § 4114 – M2

Philadelphia – Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit arrested John Jordan after receiving a referral from Nationwide Insurance Company. On July 5, 2014, Jordan was involved in an accident at the intersection of Adams Avenue and Tabor Road in Philadelphia and presented a Nationwide Insurance Company financial responsibility identification card to the driver of the other vehicle. This driver then called Nationwide in an attempt to file a claim and learned that Jordan’s policy number was fraudulent. Insurance Fraud Unit detectives retrieved Jordan’s Penndot title history and learned that Jordan used the same Nationwide Insurance financial responsibility identification card to register his 1999 Honda. Jordan was arrested for registering his vehicle with a fraudulent Nationwide Insurance Company financial responsibility identification card and then later presenting the card at the scene of an accident. Jordan was arrested for Forgery, Insurance Fraud, Tampering with Public Records or Information (F3), Tampering with Records or Information (M1), False Swearing, Unsworn Falsification to Authorities, and Securing Execution of Documents by Deception on August 29, 2016. He is next scheduled to appear in Philadelphia Municipal Court for a status listing on September 6, 2016.

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE ISSUES STATEMENT ON ARREST AND CHARGING OF WALTER WEEKS AFTER DNC CONVENTION ASSAULT

September 7, 2016 by

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 7, 2016) – The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office today released the following statement about the arrest and charging of Walter Weeks for assaulting a fellow delegate during the Democratic National Convention:

Based on what we later learned was an incomplete investigation, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) initially declined charges in this case. But, after further investigation by the DAO including a review of additional video and eyewitness testimony, the Office has charged Walter Weeks of Garnet Valley, PA with Indecent Assault as a second degree misdemeanor. Mr. Weeks, who turned himself in to the Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit today around 4 p.m., is being charged for assaulting a fellow DNC delegate at a hotel in Center City Philadelphia.

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MATTHEW DARDEN CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 12-YEAR-OLD STEPDAUGHTER

September 1, 2016 by

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 1, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced that Matthew Darden, age 44, was convicted on Sept. 1, 2016, of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse of a Child, Aggravated Indecent Assault of a Child, Unlawful Contact with a Minor, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Corruption of Minors.

“Matthew Darden not only sexually assaulted his 12-year-old stepdaughter on multiple occasions but was also grooming his disabled stepson to be his next victim. I would like to thank the jury for their service, and expect their verdict will keep the defendant off the streets for decades to come,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “One in four women and one in six men will be sexually assaulted before their eighteenth birthday but help is available by calling the Women Organized Against Rape Hotline at 215-985-3333 or 9-1-1.”

The defendant repeatedly sexually abused his 12-year-old stepdaughter in the family’s Southwest Philadelphia home in 2011 after convincing the victim that he had to perform “spiritual rituals” on her to rid her of curses. The rituals involved sexual abuse. The victim did not tell her mother because she thought she would not be believed. A year later the victim finally told her mother, but her mom did not call police; instead, the victim was sent to live with her father in Georgia. The victim returned to Philadelphia when she was 16 and after the defendant sexually assaulted her again, she told her school counselor and the crimes were reported to police.

Prosecuting Attorney Elizabeth Fischer stated, “This child showed remarkable courage in testifying and the jury’s decision holds this defendant accountable and protects other children in our city.”

The victim’s mother refused to cooperate with police and visited the defendant several times in prison. Evidence came forward at trial that the defendant was also showing pornography to his stepson who is wheelchair-bound minor, showing a possible pattern of grooming him for sexual contact.

The defendant will be sentenced on December 15, 2016, before the Hon. Judge Charles Cunningham III where he faces a maximum potential sentence of 47-94 years of incarceration. The defendant will also be a lifetime registrant under Megan’s Law. He has a lengthy multi-state criminal record, including convictions for Aggravated Assault and Arson in Florida, two arrests for Rape in Georgia, one of which pled to a lesser assault charge, and firearms convictions in Philadelphia.

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TYREE MORRIS FACES MORE THAN 100 YEARS IN JAIL FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND OTHER CHARGES FOR TRYING TO KILL HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND

August 30, 2016 by

PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 30, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced that Tyree Morris, age 41, was convicted on Aug. 26, 2016, of Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, Rape, Sexual Assault, Possessing an Instrument of Crime and multiple counts of Violations of the Uniform Firearms Act.

“Tyree Morris raped and tried to kill his ex-girlfriend, and at one point, chased her down the street firing his gun, which could have killed multiple innocent bystanders,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “I would like to thank the jury for their service, Victim Advocate Corrinne Arnosky for assisting throughout the trial, the Philadelphia Police Department and Maryland State Police, and Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Fischer of my Office’s Family Violence & Sexual Assault Unit for their hard work and dedication during the prosecution of this case.”

On Oct. 17, 2015, in Southwest Philadelphia, the defendant restrained and raped his live-in twenty eight year old ex-girlfriend at gunpoint. He also threatened to shoot her nine year old son if she resisted. Eventually, the victim broke free and ran out of the house. The defendant followed, firing a total of seven shots at her as she fled down the street. When the defendant caught up to the victim, he tried to fire an eighth shot, but was out of ammunition, so instead he choked the victim until she lost consciousness and tried to hide her body behind a car before fleeing the scene.

Philadelphia Police eventually spotted the defendant in his car in South Philadelphia where he abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. When they searched the car they found two more firearms. The defendant eventually fled to Maryland where, with the help of U.S. Marshalls, he was eventually found and captured, but not until first leading Maryland State Police on a high speed chase and crashing into a guard rail on I-95.

“One in four women and one in six men will be sexually assaulted before their eighteenth birthday, and each year there are about 213,000 victims of sexual assault in the U.S. Fortunately, help is available by calling the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-723-3014 or 9-1-1,” added Williams.

The defendant will be sentenced on December 2, 2016, before the Hon. Glenn B. Bronson. He faces a maximum of 63.5 to 127 years of incarceration and will be a Lifetime Megan’s Law Registrant.

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MAN FILES FRAUDULENT PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM AGAINST SEDGWICK CLAIMS MANAGEMENT

August 19, 2016 by

Philadelphia – Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit arrested Charlton Prince after receiving a referral from Sedgwick Claims Management, a third-party administrator for claims against 7-11. On June 24, 2015, Prince went into the 7-11 located on 1500 JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia and allegedly slipped and fell while inside of the store. Detectives interviewed the 7-11 store manager, as well as a 7-11 field consultant, who were both present when Prince allegedly fell. The store manager stated that Prince told him that he slipped and fell and asked him to call an ambulance. Insurance Fraud Unit detectives retrieved surveillance footage from the 7-11, which shows Prince and another male walking together outside of the store and then enter the 7-11 separately. The man accompanying Prince approached the store’s soda machine and filled a cup with liquid. The male then proceeded to throw the liquid on to the floor. After the man left the store, Prince feigned falling on the spilled liquid as he lowered himself on to the floor. Prince then retained counsel to represent him in an injury claim for alleged injuries to his ankle, lower back, left hip and right elbow. Prince was arrested on August 10, 2016 for filing a fraudulent personal injury claim against 7-11. He was charged with Theft by Deception, Insurance Fraud and Criminal Conspiracy and is next scheduled to appear for a status listing in Philadelphia Municipal Court on August 16, 2016.

MAN ARRESTED FOR MISREPRESENTING THE DATE OF AN ACCIDENT TO PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE COMPANY

August 19, 2016 by

Philadelphia – Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit arrested Diontai Lewis after receiving a referral from Progressive Insurance Company. On April 26, 2015, Lewis contacted his insurer, Progressive Insurance Company, and upgraded his policy to include comprehension, collision and rental car reimbursement. On April 27, 2015, Lewis filed a claim for damages to his 2002 Volvo which had been parked on American Street in Philadelphia when it was struck by an unknown vehicle while parked unattended. Lewis uploaded two photographs of the damage to his vehicle with his cell phone and submitted the pictures as part of his claim. Progressive investigators requested metadata from these photographs from Sprint and discovered that the pictures had been taken on April 26, 2015. Insurance Fraud Unit detectives verified with Sprint that the photographs came from a cell phone number belonging to Diontai Lewis. Detectives then determined that Lewis’ Volvo was struck before he added comprehensive and collision to his Progressive policy. Lewis was arrested on May 9, 2016 for misrepresenting the date of the accident in an attempt to have Progressive fix his vehicle. He was charged with Insurance Fraud and Attempted Theft by Deception and is next listed in Philadelphia Municipal Court on September 9, 2016 for a status listing.

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND COMMUNITY LEADERS PRAISE DECISION TO NAME TARIQ EL-SHABAZZ AS DEPUTY OF INVESTIGATIONS AND NEXT FIRST ASSISTANT

August 11, 2016 by

Announcement ensures smooth transition and community support

PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 11, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today, surrounded by city officials and community leaders, named Tariq El-Shabazz to be the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s (DAO) next Deputy for Investigations and next First Assistant District Attorney when the current First Assistant District Attorney George D. Mosee, Jr. retires in December 2016. El-Shabazz will begin as Deputy on September 6, 2016.

Williams’ announcement will fill a current vacancy as the Deputy of Investigations and allow El-Shabazz to gain more familiarity with the Investigations Division and the role of the First Assistant, ensuring continuity with the office’s current First Assistant District Attorney George D. Mosee, Jr. El-Shabazz has decades of award-winning legal experience both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney in addition to being an outspoken voice for justice, fair policing, just prosecutions and open communications with the public.

“It means so much to have these distinguished civic, community and religious leaders join us for today’s announcement. Tariq El-Shabazz was a powerhouse prosecutor years ago and is currently an advocate for a strong connection and two-way communication between our neighborhoods and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. “He will make a great Deputy and, when the time comes, will make an outstanding First Assistant.”

Williams was joined at the announcement by: Richard Ross, Philadelphia Police Commissioner; Curtis Jones, Philadelphia Councilman, 4th District; Jewell Williams, Philadelphia Sherriff; Alyn Waller, Senior Pastor of the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church; Cody Anderson, Community Activist; Saddiq Abdul-Jabbar, Philadelphia Human Rights Commission; Qasim Rashad, General Council, United Muslim Masjid; and Darryl Schuler, Community Organizer; Rev. Dr.

The Investigations Division currently houses the Philadelphia District Attorney’s (DAO) Office’s Special Investigations, Insurance Fraud, Economic and Cyber Crime, Government Fraud and the Dangerous Drug Offender Units.

“Thank you Mr. District Attorney for this opportunity, it is nothing short of an honor to join your team and to continue the good work that you and the Investigations Division are doing,” said El-Shabazz. “The work that we will do for the citizens of this great City will, as you have often said, continue to be done with integrity, justice and transparency with the hope that we will keep strengthening the all-important relationship between the community and the District Attorney’s Office.”

Earlier this year Philadelphia Council President Darrell Clarke appointed Mr. El-Shabazz, along with local community and political leaders, to a special commission to study ways to reform Philadelphia’s criminal justice system. El-Shabazz was the Managing and Founding Partner of El-Shabazz + Harris, LLC. and has more than 28-years of experience with civil and criminal litigation in Federal and State Court. He has tried over 1,000 jury trials and in 2005 was selected as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer.

Tariq has also built a reputation as a legal expert, appearing on dozens of local and national television and radio shows. As a community leader, he frequently participates in legal forums, many on the impact of the criminal justice system on Philadelphia’s African-American community. He also mentors young African-American men through community-based boxing and football programs.

Before going into private practice, El-Shabazz was an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) in the DAO for five years. While in the office he received the Prosecutorial Merit Award. He is a graduate of Hofstra University and the University of Baltimore Law Center, and will reside in the Mt. Airy section of the City.

“No words can express my admiration and thanks for the good work George Mosee has done for this office and me personally. His skill and heart are unmatched, and when he retires at the end of the year he will be sorely missed by all 600 employees including our attorneys and critical staff,” added Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. “By making today’s announcement before George retires, I can make sure his vision and diplomacy continues after his retirement and there is a seamless transition to his successor.”

George Mosee was appointed as the office’s First Assistant District Attorney in November of 2015. From 2002 to 2015, Mosee was the Deputy District Attorney in charge of the Juvenile Division of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. The Juvenile Division includes the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Program, Juvenile Prosecution Unit, Habitual Offender Unit, Child Support Unit and Youth Aid Panels. Mosee joined the office in 1988 and served in various units including Motions, Major Trials, Federal Alternatives to State Trials as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, Asset Forfeiture as Chief, and Chief of the Dangerous Drug Offender Unit. From 1995 to 2002, Mr. Mosee was the Deputy District Attorney in charge of the Narcotics Division.

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