Fraud Arrest for Fraudulent SEPTA Injury Lawsuit

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March 5, 2014:  51 year old Vincent Burton is facing Insurance Fraud and Attempted Theft by Deception Charges.

Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit (IFU) detectives began to investigate Vincent Burton for insurance fraud after receiving a fraud referral from SEPTA. On August 29, 2011, Burton was a passenger on the SEPTA Route XH bus which was stopped at the intersection of Greene Street and School House Lane in Philadelphia when a truck struck the driver’s side mirror of the bus and then continued en route. The Route XH operator appraised the damage and indicated on her report that the bus had only suffered minor scratches to the driver’s side mirror frame. The operator further reported that none of the passengers present on the bus appeared or claimed to be injured. Neither police nor paramedics responded to this incident.

Despite the initial lack of reported injuries, SEPTA received notification that Burton had retained private counsel to represent him in a personal injury claim. Burton’s counsel alleged that Burton had been a passenger on the Route XH bus on the date of the incident and had injured his back upon the supposed impact. Burton sought medical treatment on more than twenty-five occasions between August of 2011 and January of 2012. Burton reported to his doctor that he suffered injuries to his neck, shoulder and lower back after the bus was sideswiped by a car. Medical records indicate that Burton described his pain as aching, miserable and constant and that his bills for treatment exceeded seventy-nine hundred dollars.  Burton’s counsel demanded that SEPTA issue payments of five thousand dollars for medical bills and sixteen thousand dollars for pain and suffering. SEPTA denied Burton’s claim on the basis of surveillance footage from the SEPTA Route XH bus.

 Surveillance footage from the Route XH bus established that although a white truck did make contact with the exterior mirror of the bus, none of the twenty-one passengers appeared to be injured or disturbed in any way. Based on video footage and witness interviews, Burton was arrested for Attempted Theft by Deception and Insurance Fraud on March 4, 2014. He is next scheduled to appear in Philadelphia Municipal Court for a status listing on March 10, 2014.

ADA Debra Naish and Detective Donald Murtha of the IFU are specially assigned to this case.


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