On Wednesday, August 23, 2017, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that two insurance agents in Allegheny and Westmoreland County had been charged with insurance fraud. One agent has been accused of stealing $26,247 from eight clients, including life insurance proceeds, auto insurance premiums and even a loan. In the second case, an agent submitted 252 fraudulent Medicare supplement policy applications and generated $88,636 in commissions.
29-year-old Travis Wingrove of University Drive in Dunbar and 53-year-old Jeffrey Ingram of Meadow Oaks Drive in Allison Park have been charged with insurance fraud, theft by deception and identity theft. The Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud unit initiated an investigation into Wingrove after a referral from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.
It was discovered that Wingrove was working at Rosemary Skaggs’ State Farm Insurance Agency in Mount Pleasant. Between April of 2013 and April of 2015, it is alleged that Wingrove stole more than $26,000 from clients. Wingrove did so utilizing a variety of schemes, including stealing life insurance policies and accepting auto insurance premiums and never depositing them. In one case, the defendant is accused of applying for a $2,775 loan on a client’s insurance policy only to steal the money.
In another case, Wingrove processed a life insurance policy dividend for $2,000, which was $1,800 more than what the client was entitled to. Wingrove allegedly forced the client to return the $1,800. That money was never returned to State Farm. Some of the victims were over the age of 70 making them more vulnerable to financial scams and insurance fraud. Wingrove has been arraigned and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on September 6, 2017.
In the case of Jeffrey Ingram, the defendant is accused of submitting 252 fraudulent Medicare supplement policy applications between March and October of 2016. In return, Ingram earned more than $88,000 in advance commissions that he wasn’t entitled to. Ingram is accused of submitting the applications while working as an employee with Success Financial Solutions. The applications were submitted to Medico Insurance Company, which ultimately paid him the commissions.
Ingram is accused of making up personal information or acquiring it from public sources, such as the phone book. Eventually, Medico received several policies that had been undeliverable by mail. In one case, the applicant had already passed away. Other customers contacted Medico directly to insist that they had never applied for the policies and were not eligible due to their age.
Ingram has been arraigned on the insurance fraud charges. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for September 6, 2017.