Philadelphia, July 28, 2010: District Attorney Seth Williams and David Augenbraun, Chief of the Insurance Fraud Unit, announce the guilty plea and sentencing of Wallace “Pops” Morris, Sr. Morris, whose last address, was the 2700 block of Rhawn Street, Philadelphia, was convicted of running a multi-tiered auto accident scheme that defrauded approximately 17 different insurance companies out of over $1 million dollars.
His sentencing is scheduled for Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 10:30AM before the Honorable Rose Marie Defino-Nastasi in courtroom 1107 at the CJC. Wallace Morris was the lead organizer of a criminal conspiracy that created fictitious auto accidents supported by “fake” police reports to claim personal injury losses in excess of $1 million dollars. Detective Alfredo Quintile of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office along with other detectives from the DA’s Insurance Fraud Unit, the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the investigative divisions of all insurance companies defrauded are credited with the successful investigation of this case. ADA Linda Montag (Insurance Fraud Unit) is the assigned prosecutor.
Here is a quick timeline of how the DA’s case against Morris unfolded. On May 22, 2008, the District Attorney’s Office announced the arrest of Wallace “Pops” or “Popsicle” Morris, Sr. for over 200 counts of Insurance Fraud, 200 counts of Theft by Deception and related charges. On December 18, 2009, Morris, represented by attorney Diane Grey, Esq. pleaded guilty to 44 counts of Insurance Fraud, 43 counts of Theft by Deception, 1 count each of Bribery, Perjury and Conspiracy. On February 18, 2010, Wallace Morris was federally indicted for 17 counts of mail fraud.
Morris has admitted to staging dozens of fake accidents occurring in Philadelphia by enlisting the cooperation of his friends and associates who would then claim bodily injury based on the fake accident. Morris was able to secure fraudulent police reports which were necessary to support the fraudulent insurance claims. After the “fake” police reports were made, Morris then introduced the claimants to doctors and lawyers. In most cases, the “claimants” pursued quick cash settlements. Each accident was set up to include 2 vehicles, each with 1 driver and at least 1 passenger for multiple claimants per accident. The accidents range in value, some insurance companies paid out over $100,000 for 1 accident, while others were as small as $5,000. The majority of these phony claims were submitted to major insurance companies doing business in Pennsylvania such as AIG, Allstate, American Independent, Cambridge, Erie, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, and State Farm.
To date over 116 people have been arrested, 91 have agreed to cooperate with the government, many of whom identified Morris as the alleged organizer and over 24 cases are open. Future arrests are pending.