PHILADELPHIA (May 4, 2015) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced that four members of the office’s Insurance Fraud Unit have won the 2015 Fraud Fighter Award. The award was given to Assistant District Attorney Dawn Holtz, Assistant Chief of the Insurance Fraud Unit; Assistant District Attorney Linda Montag; and Detectives Robert DiFrancesco and Alfredo Quintile by the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA).
“Being a public servant quite often requires that we go the extra mile to get the job done, and that is why I am always pleased when other agencies, such as IFPA, recognize the hard work that we do each and every day,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have the honor to work with some of the most elite public servants that this city has to offer, so congratulations goes out to Assistant District Attorneys Holtz and Montag and to Detectives DiFrancesco and Quintile for fighting fraud.”
Assistant Chief Dawn Hotlz and Detective Robert DiFrancesco received an award for their work on the multi-million dollar insurance fraud scheme that lead to the arrest of Ronald Galati Sr., a South Philadelphia body shop owner, and 40 others. After a 16-month grand jury investigation of American Collison and Auto Center in Philadelphia the defendants were accused of various schemes to defraud insurance companies and Philadelphia tax payers. Victimized insurance companies reportedly paid out more than $2 million from fraudulent claims submitted by and through American Collision. Many of the fraudulent claims involved deer blood and carcasses, staged collisions, fraudulent vehicle rental bills, intentional vandalism and the payment of fees to and waiver of insurance deductibles. It was also alleged that Galati fraudulently obtained a City of Philadelphia contract to repair city vehicles.
ADA Linda Montag and Detective Alfredo Quintile received the award for a $400,000 complex slip-and-fall insurance fraud scheme that spanned seven years. After a two-year Grand Jury investigation, 46 people, including a local attorney were arrested. The attorney, Andrew Gaber was alleged to have directed the scheme from his Center City office; he reportedly committed suicide after learning that he was to be arrested.
The award ceremony took place on April 27, 2015. The IFPA has been fighting insurance fraud since 1995 and supporting the law enforcement personnel who aggressively investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Their mission is to determine the scope of Pennsylvania’s insurance fraud problem and fund grantees who prevent, detect and prosecute fraud-related crimes. While the anti-fraud efforts of many other states are centralized in a single agency, Pennsylvania has a decentralized program to give insurers and consumer-victims increased access to law enforcement. The IFPA’s operations are funded by assessments to insurance companies that conduct business with the Commonwealth.