WOMAN FILES 23 FRAUDULENT CLAIMS WITH AFLAC INSURANCE COMPANY AND TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY

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Defendants:

  • Bonita Ashley
  • Age: 60
  • OTN: U0834363

Charges:

  • Forgery 18 Pa C.S. § 4101 – F3 (14 counts)
  • Insurance Fraud 18 Pa C.S. § 4117 – F3 (13 counts)
  •  Attempted Theft by Deception 18 Pa C.S. § 3922 – F3 (1 count)
  • Theft by Deception 18 Pa C.S. § 3922 – F3 (1 count)

Philadelphia – Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit arrested Bonita Ashley after receiving an insurance fraud referral from AFLAC Insurance Company (AFLAC). Over the two year period between 2014 and 2016, Ashley Bonita filed 22 false insurance claims for benefits with AFLAC. She was subsequently paid $10,605.000 in benefits, and attempted to file a claim against Travelers Insurance Company for an alleged broken tooth.

Detectives from the Insurance Fraud Unit performed search warrants for Ms. Ashley’s medical records from various hospitals where Ms. Ashley stated that she was admitted. On many occasions, the records that Ms. Ashley submitted to AFLAC had forged dates, and stated that she was treated for ailments that she never received any treatment. Many of the records submitted were doctored from her previous medical history.

For example, Ms. Ashley submitted a claim to AFLAC stating that she was treated and had spinal surgery performed at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on March 3, 2015. Her actual medical records stated that she was treated for a posterior lumbar decompression on August 27, 2012 at that hospital.

Other claims submitted contained the same false information. On June 12, 2015, Ms. Ashley submitted a claim which stated that she was treated for a fracture in her right ankle. The surgical report that she submitted, stated that the surgery lasted 105 minutes. Her actual medical records from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania revealed that she never had such surgery. Also, the doctor whom Ms. Ashley stated performed the surgery has a strict specialty in surgery of the shoulder. She submitted two other claims on November 2. 2015 and November 3, 2015 claiming that she fell and needed a hip replacement. On these two claims. Ms. Ashley did not identify where she received treatment, however she provided a telephone number to Penn Medicine and Rehabilitation Center. None of the records from that hospital suggest that Ms. Ashley received treatment for hip related injuries or had a hip replacement surgery.

She submitted two other claims on June 10, 2015 and on June 30, 2015 to AFLAC. On the claim submitted on June 10, 2015, Ms. Ashley claimed that she fell down a flight of stairs but did not require any ambulance transportation. She stated that she was treated for a fracture in her right leg and ankle at Chestnut Hill Hospital. On her claim from June 30, 2015, Ms. Ashley stated that she was treated at the Chestnut Hill Hospital emergency department after she fell down a flight of stairs because she was upset at the passing of her mother. Her medical records revealed that she was treated on June 9, 2015, at Chestnut Hill Hospital for joint pain and not a fracture. She was never treated at Chestnut Hill Hospital on June 30, 2015.

On June 29, 2016 and on July 15, 2016, Ms. Ashley submitted two claims claiming that as a result of an automobile accident she suffered from paralysis in her right calf and left knee. She stated that she received treatment at Progressive Injury Care and at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania. A review of the medical records received from both providers revealed that Ms. Ashley falsified the dates that she received treatment and the type of treatment. Ms. Ashley was treated at Progressive Injury Care on March 21, 2016 and definitely not in June as she claimed in the records that she submitted. Further, Ms. Ashley was treated on June 20, 2016 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, however her ailment was a kidney cyst and not a paralysis of her calf. AFLAC did not pay any benefits on this claim. When Ms. Ashley was informed that her claim was denied, she threatened to report AFLAC to the media and kept on insisting that she was a paraplegic and therefore eligible for the benefits in her policy for that ailment.

Lastly, a review of Ms. Ashley’s previous insurance claims revealed that she attempted to file a similar fraudulent claim against Travelers Insurance for a broken tooth at a T.G.I Friday restaurant. Ms. Ashley claimed that in December 19, 2014 she was having lunch with her co-workers. While eating her lunch, Ms. Ashley bit down on an uncooked grain of rice which caused her tooth to split in half. She stated that she went to her dentist on the same day, and that by December 31, 2014 she had her tooth extracted. On January 6, 2015 she was informed that her claim was denied. Again, when informed of this Ms. Ashley called Travelers Insurance Company and threatened to call the media and inform them that the restaurant serves uncooked food.

On January 23, 2015, the manager of the T.G.I. Friday restaurant received a call from one of Ms. Ashley’s coworkers. Ms. Ashley was and is currently employed at the Juvenile Justice Center as a case manager for at-risk youth. The coworker asked to remain anonymous, stated that she was having a holiday lunch with Ms. Ashley. In a recorded statement, her coworker stated, that Ms. Ashley’s tooth was chipped previously but that she planned to go into the restaurant and claim that it was their food that damaged her tooth. On May 22, 2017, detectives from the Insurance Fraud Unit interviewed her co-worker and confirmed the version of events that she gave to representatives of Travelers Insurance and the restaurant.

On June 5, 2017, Ms. Ashley was also interviewed by detectives from the Insurance Fraud Unit. She begrudgingly admitted to committing fraud and to falsifying her medical records while stating “as broke as I am, I may have altered the information on the forms”. Nevertheless to this day, Ms. Ashley sustains that she broke her tooth due to uncooked rice.

Overall Ms. Ashley provided drastically altered copies of her medical records from Thomas Jefferson Hospital, Chestnut Hill Hospital, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital to AFLAC. Further she provided falsified dental records to Travelers Insurance Company to sustain her fractured tooth claim. Before her arrest date, Ms. Bonita was given several chances to surrender. Ms. Bonita on a couple instances would call and state that she cannot comply with her arrest warrant because she was hospitalized. Ashley Bonita finally did surrender and was arrested on June 20, 2017, on the above stated charges.

Bonita Ashley is next scheduled to appear in courtroom 406, for a Status of Counsel Hearing on July 21, 2017 in Philadelphia Municipal Court.

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