Philadelphia Man Charged with Arson and Insurance Fraud


August 20, 2013:  20 year old Jose Cirilo is now facing Arson, Insurance Fraud, Attempt Theft by Deception, Conspiracy and Causing or Risking a Catastrophe charges.

On August 6, 2013, detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit (IFU) arrested defendant Teofilo Santiago for having his 2004 Nissan Quest burned in order to collect a settlement from Nationwide Insurance Company. On August 20, 2013, Santiago’s stepson, defendant Jose Cirilo, was arrested for his involvement in the arson of his stepfather’s 2004 Nissan Quest.

 Santiago was arrested for Arson, Insurance Fraud, Attempted Theft by Deception, Conspiracy and Causing or Risking a Catastrophe after he intentionally had his car burned. On March 20, 2013, Philadelphia police and firefighters responded to a fire on 2700 Emerald Street where they discovered a 2004 Nissan Quest fully engulfed in flames under the Conrail railroad tracks. Although Philadelphia Fire Marshalls ruled that the fire was arson, Santiago filed a theft claim with Nationwide. Santiago alleged that the car had been in good condition and Nationwide determined that the car was worth over seven thousand dollars. 

 Santiago eventually withdrew his stolen auto claim with Nationwide and during the investigation, he indicated that his Nissan was in poor mechanical condition and needed expensive repairs. Detectives discovered that Santiago conspired with his stepson Cirilo to burn the Nissan so that he could file a theft claim with his insurance carrier. After the Nissan was destroyed by the fire, Cirilo returned the vehicle’s keys to Santiago so that he could report the vehicle stolen. Due to his role as a co-conspirator in this case, Cirilo was arrested for Arson, Causing or Risking a Catastrophe, Insurance Fraud, Attempted Theft by Deception, and Conspiracy on August 20, 2013.  Cirilo is next listed for a status hearing on August 26, 2013.  ADA Vicki Markovitz and Detective Donald Murtha are specially assigned to this case.


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