Philadelphia – Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit investigated Deborah Vega after receiving a referral from SEPTA. On November 13, 2012, Vega was a passenger on the SEPTA Route 5 bus when the vehicle had a minor collision with a parked 2002 Honda Odyssey. Vega then retained counsel to file a personal injury claim on her behalf. Vega claimed that the accident had caused her to suffer injuries to her back and legs and that she therefore incurred medical bills in excess of twelve thousand dollars. Vega had previously filed personal injury claims against SEPTA on two other separate occasions and had received settlements of eight thousand five hundred and five thousand dollars.
The investigation revealed that the slight collision could not have harmed Vega. Detectives interviewed the operator of the Route 5 bus who stated that as he was slowly driving the bus he made light contact with the exterior side mirror of a parked Honda Odyssey. The operator stated that he reported the incident to his supervisor and then continued with his route. Digital surveillance footage from the SEPTA Route 5 bus showed that after the bus made contact with the Honda, the operator brought the bus to a controlled stop. None of the nine passengers, including Vega, appeared to be disturbed. Further footage from the vehicle shows Vega moving about the bus with no evidence of any distress. Vega was arrested on March 12, 2015 for Insurance Fraud and Theft by Deception. She is next scheduled for a status listing on March 17, 2015 in Philadelphia Municipal Court.