Attorney General Josh Shapiro said on Thursday that criminal charges against 29 people following investigations by the Office of Attorney General's Insurance Fraud Section.
The charges are part of a sweep conducted in July and June by the Insurance Fraud Section. The total fraud involved in the unrelated cases is more than $160,000.
So far this year, the Office of Attorney General has charged 109 people with insurance fraud and Pennsylvania courts have ordered more than $655,000 in restitution be paid
All of the suspects arrested in the most recent sweep are charged with insurance fraud, a third-degree felony. The cases are all pending.
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James Nayock, 56, of Tunnelton Road, Saltsburg, is accused of insurance fraud in the largest-valued case in this sweep - $30,000. Nayock was involved in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident after leaving a bar. He sustained serious injuries, including a broken leg which was treated at a hospital.
Instead of accurately reporting the incident, Nayock filed an insurance claim stating he had fallen from the bed of a stranger’s pickup truck and sustained injuries. Nayock is charged with insurance fraud and theft by deception.
The following defendants in Western Pennsylvania are also charged:
• Crystal Robb, 35, of Gallatin Avenue, Uniontown
• Jordan Basel, 31, of Patterson Lane, Vernon (still at large)
• Jason Rubin, 35, of Main Street, Canonsburg
• Jon Murman, 52, of Pierson Run Road, Pittsburgh
• Danielle Desch, 28, of Baney Road, Julian
• Jason Desch, 30, of Baney Road, Julian
• Blane Johnson, 39, of Bull Run Road, Brownsville
• Jan Fisher, 59, of Hansen Avenue, Lyndora
• Amy Allaman, 37, W. Jefferson Street, Butler
• Jocelyn Bayus, 21, of Lincoln Street, Cokeburg
• Tina Yeast, 21, of Lake Street, Springboro
• Christopher Yohe, 27, of Harrisburg Run, Bradford
In another case, Quran Howard, 43, of S. 16th Street, Philadelphia, filed an insurance claim stating that more than $14,000 in personal property was stolen from her home in March 2016, including a Celine handbag worth $3,600. Howard claimed she had bought the handbag from the King of Prussia Neiman Marcus while she was with her friend, Nihessah Almond, 38, of Pleasant Court, Wilmington, De.
Almond told investigators she purchased the handbag on Howard’s behalf and Howard repaid her in cash. Sales records obtained from the store showed the handbag was actually bought by another woman - not Howard or Almond – and the receipt from the purchase was fraudulently submitted to Howard’s insurance company, without the other woman’s knowledge. Howard and Almond are charged with insurance fraud, theft by deception and conspiracy.
Also charged with insurance fraud in Philadelphia and the surrounding region are:
• Patricia Barksdale, 61, of W. Stella Street, Philadelphia
• Nelson Burgos-Matos, 28, of N. 6th Street, Philadelphia
• Simone Evanson, 25, of Willows Avenue, Philadelphia
• Brenda Lakey, 57, of Chestnut Street, Pomeroy
• David Clark, 38, of Willow Drive, Levittown
• Brittany Hooper, 21, Powelton Avenue, Philadelphia
• Jerrel Giles, 28, of Washington Avenue, Willow Grove
• Stacey Haberberger, 36, of Lindbergh Boulvard, Philadelphia
• Majid Narimanian, 46, of Greenshire Avenue, Claymont, Delaware
Another case brought to light disability fraud by Andrew Cooke, 28, of Harford, Connecticut. Cooke received disability benefits of nearly $3,000 from Vision Quest while he was employed and receiving wages from Chambersburg Middle School. Cooke stated on a Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry form he had not been employed at any time while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Cooke is charged with workers’ compensation fraud.
Also charged with insurance fraud in central Pennsylvania are:
• Tabatha Zerbe, 44, of Mill Road, Fleetwood
• Crystal Kline, 44, of S. 9th Street, Lebanon
• LuAnn Hileman, 32, of S. 2nd Street, Steelton
• Monica Canny, 34, of Helvetia Street, Wellsboro
In 2016, 203 people were charged with insurance fraud.
“Insurance fraud is a serious crime that impacts consumers and policyholders across our Commonwealth,” Shapiro said in a news release. “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 law-abiding policyholders. It’s wrong, and we’re taking action to stop it.”
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