4 arrested in statewide insurance fraud sweep
Four people have been arrested in a statewide automobile insurance fraud investigation, according to news release from Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office.
Two of the suspects, Melissa High and Joshua Dinger, both 27, are from Lancaster County. Both are charged with one count of criminal conspiracy– arson endangering persons, one count of theft by deception and one count of criminal conspiracy – reckless burning or exploding. High faces an additional charge of insurance fraud.
High and Dinger allegedly set fire to a Jeep that High owned jointly with her estranged husband, authorities said. High conspired with Dinger, who stole the vehicle from the estranged husband using High’s key. After learning her estranged husband filed a complaint with police and an insurance claim, High and Dinger set the Jeep on fire.
The other suspects in custody were identified by the attorney general as:
Dennis Gerle, 63, 351 Chadwick St., Apt #2, Sewickley, Allegheny County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, theft by deception and false reports to law enforcement. Gerle allegedly lied to police about his car being stolen. Experts determined that Gerle abandoned the car in a parking lot after learning it was to be repossessed. As a result, the insurance company paid Gerle $3,131 for his equity in the vehicle and $890 for a rental vehicle. The vehicle’s balance of $12,431 was paid to the lien holder.
Brandon Mosely, 23, 1444 4th St., New Brighton, Beaver County, is charged with one count of insurance fraud and one count of theft by deception. Mosely allegedly attempted to get his insurance policy to cover costs for damages to the front and rear of his vehicle, when only the rear of the car sustained damages during a multi-vehicle accident.
Allegations of insurance fraud can be reported using an online form or by calling the IFPA’s hotline at 1-888-565-IFPA (4372).
Consumers with a complaint involving an insurance company that does not involve fraud should contact the Pennsylvania Insurance Department at (877) 881-6388 or the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at (800) 441-2555.
In 1994, legislation was enacted in Pennsylvania establishing the Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA) and a Fraud Trust Fund. All insurance companies authorized to transact business in Pennsylvania pay an annual assessment into the fund. The funds provide financial support to the Insurance Fraud Section and other law enforcement agencies to support insurance fraud investigations and prosecutions.