On November 2, 2017, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that 21 people in Western Pennsylvania had been charged following investigations by the Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section. This year, the Office of the Attorney General has charged more than 160 individuals with insurance fraud. Pennsylvania courts have ordered the defendants to repay more than $774,500 in restitution.
The most recent defendants have been charged with insurance fraud and related crimes. Insurance fraud is a third-degree felony. The cases remain pending, so the defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In one incident, Bonnie Shaner and Gordon Wade claimed that $19,600 worth of property was stolen from Shaner’s vehicle.
The insurance claim suggests that someone stole various items from the vehicle, including a Select Comfort Bed and a Sony Bravia LED TV. An investigation later concluded that the property was never sold to the couple or never stolen from them. The defendants ultimately admitted to forging and doctoring receipts that were later submitted to the insurance company.
In another incident, a representative at Western & Southern Financial Group is accused of creating 22 fraudulent insurance applications from 2014 to 2016. Bahram Panahiazar is accused of creating the applications to collect commissions. After being confronted about the activities, Panahiazar resigned. The defendant would have earned at least $17,000 in commission from the crimes in just one year.
Additional details about those charged can be found here.