Statewide sweep nets 60 charged with insurance fraud

By Terri Hill | November 2, 2018

Sixty people have been charged with insurance fraud as a result of a statewide sweep conducted by agents with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

According to Attorney General Josh Shapiro, 23 people were charged in Eastern Pennsylvania, 10 in Central Pennsylvania and 27 in Western Pennsylvania.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by state insurance fraud agents during September and October 2018.

“Insurance fraud is a serious crime that impacts consumers and policyholders across our Commonwealth,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “We will aggressively prosecute anyone who breaks the law by providing false information to an insurance company. When people commit insurance fraud, it causes premiums to rise for the folks who do follow the rules. It’s wrong, and we’re taking action to stop it.”

In a Washington County case, Shane Valentine, 40, is accused in a criminal complaint of lying to his insurance company about extensive damage to his vehicle.

In his accident report and claim that he submitted to Progressive, Valentine claimed that on Jan. 19, 2018 that his vehicle was parked at a trailer park in Pennsylvania while he went out with some friends and the vehicle was damaged when he returned.

An investigation revealed that a police accident report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol indicated Valentine was involved in a hit and run accident in December 9, 2017 which included extensive damage to the driver’s side rear of the vehicle.

Valentine had just purchased the policy on Dec. 21.

He was arrested on Sept. 17, and faces theft by deception and insurance fraud charges.

All 60 cases are still pending.

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com

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