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DA racks up insurance fraud arrests

District Attorney Jack Whelan announced 22 insurance fraud arrests including three arrests for 2013. In total, these felony crimes add up to more than $273,000 in potential losses to victims of insurance fraud with crimes range from false burglary reports, contractor scams, to workers compensation fraud.

According to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan, insurance fraud is a crime that victimizes honest business and taxpayers in Delaware County who are forced to take on the unnecessary burden of higher premiums. "Insurance fraud costs honest consumers and businesses thousands per year," said District Attorney Jack Whelan.  "The huge financial burden that insurance fraud imposes on the citizens of Delaware County through higher insurance premiums and the increased costs of goods and services is unacceptable."

Combined, the defendants have been charged with more than one hundred felony counts and misdemeanors including insurance fraud, unlawful taking, theft by deception and criminal use of a communications facility. If convicted, the defendants face up to seven years in prison, up to $15‚000 in fines and could be ordered to pay restitution. Those who are convicted will have a felony charge on their record that follows them for life‚ and that can stand in the way of securing employment or housing.

Over the past decade, the total potential loss to victims of insurance fraud exceeds $4 million in Delaware County alone. With the goal to investigate fraudulent claims and aggressively prosecute violators, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division has a insurance fraud unit. The unit is comprised of a team of specialists who handle complex insurance fraud prosecutions from inception to sentencing.
Since 2000, the Office of the District Attorney has been the recipient of a grant from the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA).

Last year, Delaware County received $252,000 which covered the costs for a detective, Assistant District Attorney and an analyst for the unit. Over the past 12 years, the division has secured over $2.8 million in court-ordered restitution for victims of insurance fraud, with a total of $364,839 for the year 2012.

Next month, the division will be submitting its grant application to IFPA for additional funds for 2013. 
Insurance fraud referrals are received from a number of different sources including insurance carriers, businesses, employees, concerned citizens and local law enforcement agencies. If you suspect someone is committing insurance fraud, please contact the Insurance Fraud Unit at 610-891-4126.