Philadelphia Woman Charged with Fraudulent Death Claim Benefits


April 28, 2014: The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit (IFC) has charged 47 year old Donna Sheehan with Theft by Deception and Insurance Fraud.

IFU detectives began to investigate Donna Sheehan after receiving a citizen insurance fraud referral. A woman called to inform the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office that Donna Sheehan had fraudulently made herself the sole beneficiary on decedent Francis Carr’s Dearborn National Life Insurance Company policy. Detectives contacted the Delaware State Police, who first received a referral on this case, and were informed that they had an arrest warrant for Sheehan for providing fraudulent information to the Delaware Register of Wills. Detectives then spoke to the benefits manager at Carr’s former location of employment who stated that she had been contacted by Sheehan. The defendant alleged that she was the sole living heir of Carr and related that she wanted to file a death claim for his benefits. The benefits manager related that she told Sheehan that she would have to provide a death certificate for Francis Carr and file a claim form. Sheehan then proceeded to submit the completed claim form along with a notarized Beneficiary Information and Certification Form which stated that she was Carr’s only surviving heir. The benefits manager then unknowingly provided this false information to Dearborn Life Insurance Company. The insurance company provided detectives with the claim file, which included a copy of a check made out to Sheehan in the amount of twenty thousand dollars. PNC bank records indicated that Sheehan signed and deposited the check into her account.

As a result of the investigation, Sheehan was arrested for Insurance Fraud and Theft by Deception on April 28, 2014. She is next scheduled to appear in Philadelphia Municipal Court on May 6, 2014 for a status listing.

ADA Debra Naish and Detective Andrew Snyder of IFU are specially assigned to this case.


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