Nine People Arrested for “Faking” Injuries on SEPTA Bus

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 April 15, 2013:   The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has charged ten people with Insurance Fraud and related crimes after they filed allegedly fraudulent personal injury claims in connection with an April 5, 2010 incident involving the route “C” SEPTA bus.  Detectives from the District Attorney’s Insurance Fraud Unit (IFU) have arrested nine of the defendants and are actively seeking the tenth defendant in connection with the case. 

 SEPTA’s Inspector General’s Office referred this case to IFU detectives after SEPTA received ten allegedly fraudulent personal injury claims.  On April 5, 2010, the route “C” bus was traveling north on Broad Street when the bus’ exterior side view mirror made contact with an abandoned newsstand. Digital video surveillance on the bus shows that no passengers on the bus were disturbed or made sudden movements as a result of this contact. The damage to the bus consisted of a broken passenger side mirror and a crack in the fifth window on the passenger side of the bus.  Philadelphia police did not respond to the accident and no one that was on the bus at the time of the occurrence reported injuries to the operator. 

 Despite the initial absence of reports of any injuries, SEPTA subsequently received notices of personal injury claims from attorneys from seven different area law firms who were representing the ten defendants.  All of the claims included demands of money from SEPTA for medical bills and pain and suffering.  The medical bills included emergency room visits and trips to different chiropractic clinics.  The settlement requests sought compensation ranging from $5,000 to $225,000.

 As a result of reviewing the accident report, a witness list filled out by the bus operator at the time of the incident and the surveillance video from the bus, IFU detectives determined that only six of the ten individuals filing personal injury claims were actually on the bus at the time of the incident.  Furthermore, the surveillance video contradicts specific details of the claims that were filed by the defendants who were on the bus at the time of the incident. 

 ADA Michael Kershaw and Detective Donald Murtha of the District Attorney’s Insurance Fraud Unit are specially assigned to this case.

 Defendants Arrested for “C” Bus Incident

 22-year-old Bilah Taylor of the 5300 block of Glenmore Ave. Taylor was arrested on 2-20-2013 and is charged with Insurance Fraud, Attempt Theft by Deception, and Conspiracy.  Taylor was not on the bus at the time of the incident, but is the boyfriend of Shera Bernard.

 25-year-old Shera Bernard of the 5300 block of Glenmore Ave.  Bernard was arrested on 2-21-2013 and is charged with Insurance Fraud, Attempt Theft by Deception, Perjury, and Conspiracy.  Bernard was on the bus at the time of the incident, and can be seen in the video holding a small child.

 29-year-old David Childs of the 400 block of Domino Lane.  Childs was arrested on 3-26-2013 and is charged with Insurance Fraud, Theft by Deception, Attempt Theft by Deception, and Conspiracy.  Childs was not on the bus at the time of the incident, but was roommate of Saiyd Yancey.

 52-year-old Debra Smith of the 3200 block of N. Broad St. Smith was arrested on 4-09-2013 and is charged with Insurance Fraud, Theft by Deception, Attempted Theft by Deception, Perjury, and Conspiracy. Smith was on the bus at the time of the incident, and is seen in the surveillance video standing in the front of the bus.

 45-year-old Tonya Wells of the 4900 block of Walton Ave. Wells was arrested on 4-10-2013 and is charged with Insurance Fraud, Theft by Deception, Attempted Theft by Deception, Perjury, and Conspiracy. Wells was on the bus at the time of the incident, and is seen in the surveillance video seated in rear of bus.

 65-year-old Jackie Greene of the 2000 block of Mather Way, Elkins Park, PA.  Greene was arrested on 4-10-2013 and is charged with Insurance Fraud, Theft by Deception, Attempted Theft by Deception, Perjury, and Conspiracy. Greene was on the bus at the time of the incident, and is seen in the surveillance video seated in rear of bus.

 41-year-old Manuel Patton of the 2000 block of N. 32nd St.  Patton was arrested on 4-10-2013 and is charged with Insurance Fraud and Attempt Theft by Deception.  Patton was on the bus at the time of the incident, and is seen in the surveillance video seated on rear bench seat of bus.

 32-year-old Thelma Webb of 1400 block of N. Newkirk St.  Webb was arrested on 4-11-2013 and is charged with Insurance Fraud, Theft by Deception, and Attempted Theft by Deception. Webb was not on the bus at the time of the incident, but her sister lived near Yancey and Childs.

 29-year-old Saiyd Yancey of 2000 block of W. Susquehanna Ave.  Yancey was arrested on 4-11-2013 and is charged with Insurance Fraud, Attempt Theft by Deception, and Conspiracy. Yancey was on the bus at the time of the incident, and is seen in the surveillance video seated in rear with child on his lap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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