Woman with Extensive Claim History Charged with Fraudulent Injury Lawsuit Against SEPTA

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March 12, 2014:  The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has charged 56 year old Sandra McCrea with Insurance Fraud and Attempted Theft by Deception.

Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit (IFU) detectives began to investigate Sandra McCrea after receiving a fraud referral from SEPTA. On August 29, 2011, McCrea 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 McCrea retained counsel to represent her in a personal injury claim against SEPTA. McCrea’s counsel alleged that she had suffered injuries to her right shoulder, right knee and lower back as a result of this incident. Detectives retrieved McCrea’s medical records which indicate that she sought physical therapy on twenty occasions between September and November of 2011 for injuries to her back, knee and shoulder. McCrea’s alleged injuries are further described on her SEPTA incident card where she wrote that she had been thrown up and back in her seat and hit her knee on a pole. Surveillance footage from the Route XH bus contradicts McCrea’s claim and establishes 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 anyway.

When filing this fraudulent personal injury claim with SEPTA, McCrea initially provided a fraudulent name and false biographical information in order to conceal her extensive claims history. McCrea formerly filed over ten personal injury claims against SEPTA which cost the company over one hundred thousand dollars to settle. Based on video footage and witness interviews, McCrea was arrested for Attempted Theft by Deception and Insurance Fraud on March 11, 2014. She is next scheduled to appear in Philadelphia Municipal Court for a status listing on March 21, 2014.

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


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