May 3, 2013: The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has charged 61-year-old Michael Franklin with Theft by Deception and Insurance Fraud for a fraudulent claim filed with his insurance company.
On February 23, 2012, Michael Franklin was operating his 2008 Dodge Avenger when he rear-ended a 2001 Honda at the intersection of Crittenden Street and Washington Lane in Philadelphia. Both vehicles sustained minor damage and were able to be driven away from the scene. Franklin exchanged contact information with the driver of the other vehicle after the accident.
On February 26, 2012, Franklin filed a claim with his insurance company, Infinity Insurance. Franklin reported to Infinity that his 2008 Dodge Avenger was damaged as the result of a hit and run accident that occurred while the car parked near his house. Infinity Insurance paid Franklin over thirteen hundred dollars to repair the damage to his car based on this claim.
On April 24, 2012, the owner of the Honda that Franklin struck filed a claim with her insurance company, Traveler’s Insurance. She reported to Travelers that her 2001 Honda was hit from behind by a 2008 Dodge Avenger while she was stopped a red light at the intersection of Crittenden Street and Washington Lane. The owner of the Honda further stated that the Avenger sustained front end damage and, that although police never arrived at the scene of the accident, she did file a police report at the 14th district in Philadelphia.
Infinity Insurance conducted an investigation, during which Franklin gave a statement denying that he was in an accident at the intersection of Crittenden Street and Washington Lane on February 23, 2012. Infinity investigators interviewed Franklin a second time and he retracted his previous statement and stated that he hit the 2001 Honda insured by Travelers and that his vehicle was never involved in a hit and run. The National Insurance Crime Bureau referred this case to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and Franklin was arrested on May 2, 2013. He is scheduled to appear in Philadelphia Municipal Court in the upcoming weeks for a status listing.