A Northeast Philadelphia Shop Owner is Accused of Bilking Insurance Companies out of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

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Philadelphia— The preliminary hearing for 30 year old Rosario Tedesco will be held on Friday, April 30, 2010 in front of the Honorable David Shuter in courtroom 1003 at the CJC.  Tedesco is accused of being one of the masterminds behind a pyramid scheme that defrauded insurance companies out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Tedesco’s arrest comes after a joint investigation by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Health-Care Squad of the FBI. 

Tedesco, a collision body shop owner, is accused of enhancing the existing damage to vehicles brought to the shop for repair and cashing the insurance checks without repairing the vehicles.  It is alleged that in 2005, Rosario Tedesco, the owner of JR Auto Body which is located at 9410 Clark Street in Northeast Philadelphia, would enhance damage to vehicles that were towed to his shop that were already involved in accidents. He would then cash checks from the insurance companies without repairing the vehicles or he would repair the vehicles using parts from other towed cars.  He took advantage of complainants, many of whom went without their cars for months.  One victim was over eighty years of age, and another had been in a car accident with her young child.  

 This preliminary hearing began and was bifurcated on March 23, 2010, where the Commonwealth presented testimony for approximately 5 counts of Theft by Deception, Insurance Fraud and other related charges. This Friday, the remaining 10 counts will be presented in order for the case to be held over for trial.  Rosario Tedesco is accused of gained over $250,000 by cashing checks from insurance companies and or car owners without repairing the vehicles or improperly repairing the vehicles. 

 The other defendants in this case, tow truck driver 32 year old Jerry Blassengale has been convicted and received an 87 month federal sentence.  Tow truck drivers, 44 year old Viken Yeretzian,   28 year old Michael O’Connell, 26 year old Christopher Rosales, and 40 year old Reynaldo Rivera have pled guilty in state court.  Shop manager 53 year old Dan Cupaiuolo is awaiting sentencing in federal court.

 This joint effort between the District Attorney’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Health-Care Squad of the FBI has resulted in the successful investigation of over $1,000,000 in fraudulent insurance claims.  In February 2010, a second federal indictment involving 17 people was announced.  To date over 60 Philadelphia county arrests have been made. The investigation headed by Detective Robert DiFrancesco of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and Special Agent Bryan Pacchioli of the FBI.  AUSA Anthony Wzorek is assigned to prosecute the federal indictments.  ADA Linda Montag is assigned to the Philadelphia county prosecutions.

     (A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)


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