WOMAN CHARGED WITH FILING A FRAUDULENTCLAIM AGAINST FARMERS INSURANCE COMPANY

by

Defendants:

  • Traine Smith
  • Age: 47
  • OTN: U0818985

Charges:

  • Insurance Fraud 18 Pa C.S. § 4117 – F3
  • Attempted Theft by Deception 18 Pa C.S. § 3922 – F3

Philadelphia – Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit arrested Traine Smith on June 11, 2017 after receiving an insurance fraud referral from Farmers Insurance Company. Ms. Smith picked up her vehicle from the Philadelphia Police Impound Lot on June 11, 2014. She also purchased insurance for her vehicle on that same date. She then filed an insurance claim on June 12, 2014, stating that her vehicle was vandalized while parked in her driveway. Ms. Smith gave a statement to a representative of Farmers Insurance clearly stating that her vehicle was vandalized on the morning of June 12, 2014. She stated that her vehicle did not have any damage when she picked it up from the lot.

Ms. Smith’s vehicle was impounded on May 31, 2013 by the Philadelphia Police Department, pursuant to a narcotics investigation. A Philadelphia Police Department “Impound Lot Vehicle Inventory Control Sheet” states that the vehicle upon delivery to the impound lot had several dents and scratches all over the vehicle. There was also significant damage to the right and left quarter panel, as well as the hood and front window. The police officer who prepared the control sheet was interviewed by detectives from the Insurance Fraud Unit, and confirmed the information written in the records of the Philadelphia Police Impound Lot.

Detectives from the Insurance Fraud Unit also reviewed the case file from Farmers Insurance Company. Their documents revealed that Ms. Smith called Flatts Roadside Assistance Service Company to help jumpstart her vehicle on the day she picked it up from the impound lot. The mechanic that was dispatched by the company stated in an interview with an investigator from Farmers Insurance Company that he noticed significant damage, such as a crack in the windshield, and several scratched and dents on the left and right sides of the vehicle. Furthermore, Ms. Smith in recorded statements to the investigator states that she called OT Tire Company to help her with a flat tire and called Flatts Roadside Assistance Service Company to help jumpstart her vehicle. Unfortunately her vehicle would not start and had to be towed to her home.

Ms. Smith provided Farmers Insurance with a “Proof of Loss, Automobile Physical Damage Claim” form, where she listed the damages to her vehicle as “ rocks dented hood, mirror broken, oil in seat of car, wiring damage, flat tire, paint scratched on all doors, and passenger side fender cracked.” Ms. Smith was interviewed by detectives of the Insurance Fraud Unit on March 20, 2017. She stated again that the damage to her vehicle was due to the vandalism and that when she picked up her vehicle from the impound lot there weren’t any damages.

On April 21, 2017, the mechanic who was dispatched to the impound lot was interviewed. He stated that when he arrived he notices visible damage to Ms. Smith’s vehicle. He also recalled that she wanted him to document the damages so that she can submit the information to her insurance company. He stated that he never filled out any document to sustain her assertions.

After a review of the evidence Ms. Shane was arrested on June 11, 2017, on the above stated charges. She is next listed to appear in Philadelphia Municipal Court on July 21, 2017 for her arraignment.

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