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28 charged with insurance fraud in scams involving over $1.1 million in potential fraud

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the filing of criminal charges against 28 individuals following investigations by the Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section.
The charges are part of a March sweep conducted by the Insurance Fraud Section, the largest law enforcement entity in Pennsylvania with authority to investigate and prosecute cases of insurance fraud. The total potential fraud involved in these unrelated cases is more than $1.1 million.
“Insurance fraud impacts policyholders and consumers across Pennsylvania,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Insurance fraud is a serious crime that drives up costs and premiums for everyday Pennsylvanians.”
“Our office’s Insurance Fraud Section has a strong track record of investigating and prosecuting these cases,” Shapiro added. “We will aggressively prosecute anyone who breaks the law by providing false information to an insurance company.”
When individuals commit insurance fraud, that causes insurance premiums to rise for law-abiding policyholders and consumers.
The charges announced today involve some of the most common types of insurance fraud. Below is a list of the defendants, the charges filed against them and a description of their alleged criminal acts. The cases are not related to one another, and they’re all pending.
Eastern Region:
Kimberly Ann Horne, 47, of the first block of Linmar Lane, Cochranville, Chester County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, perjury and false swearing. According to investigators, Horne suffered a hand injury in 2014 when a sign fell on her in a store that was insured by Donegal Insurance. As she filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages for her claimed injuries, Horne allegedly provided false statements about the nature and extent of her injuries. Investigators said they confirmed that Horne, who claimed she had not worked since the accident and was unable to use her right hand, was in fact working as a caretaker and nursing assistant.
Debra Gail Rabin, 63, of the 1000 block of Debbie Lane, Phoenixville, Chester County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, criminal use of a communication facility and providing false information to law enforcement authorities. According to a criminal complaint filed in support of the charges, Rabin provided false information to her insurance company and law enforcement authorities claiming that items were stolen from her vehicle when it was repossessed. She also submitted a fraudulent invoice to her insurance company to support her false claim, investigators reported in the criminal complaint.
Jevon Holder, 34, of the 500 block of N. 52nd St., Philadelphia, is charged with one felony count of insurance fraud, a separate misdemeanor count of insurance fraud and one count each of theft by deception, criminal use of a communication facility and forgery. Investigators reported that Holder was involved in an automobile accident in May 2016. After the accident occurred, Holder allegedly obtained an insurance policy for his vehicle through Safe Auto Insurance. He is accused of later making a false claim to the insurance company in which he said the accident occurred after the inception of the policy. He is also accused of providing a fraudulent proof-of-insurance card at the scene of the accident.
Frank Tuccillo, 58, of the 1100 block of Cherry St., Bristol, Bucks County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, theft by deception, criminal use of a communication facility, unlawful use of a computer and providing false information to law enforcement authorities. Tuccillo in 2014 reported to police and his homeowner’s insurance company that his house had been burglarized and a number of items, including a custom diamond ring valued at more than $20,000, had been stolen. Investigators learned that Tuccillo did not own or possess the ring at the time of the alleged burglary. Rather, the ring was in fact seized by local police prior to the burglary. As a result of the false claim that Tuccillo made to his insurance company, he received insurance benefits that he was not entitled to, investigators reported.
Cynthia R. McDonough, 54, of the 1500 block of Lindenhurst Road, Yardley, Bucks County, is charged with one felony count of insurance fraud, a separate misdemeanor count of insurance fraud and one count each of criminal attempt to commit theft by deception and criminal use of a communication facility. According to investigators, a fire occurred in December 2015 at a building in Philadelphia. The insurance policy for the property, which was owned by the company where McDonough worked as an office manager, did not cover fire damage. As a result, once the fire started, McDonough allegedly contacted an insurance agency and obtained the proper policy to cover the fire damage. Later, she allegedly submitted a false claim to her insurance company in which she made numerous false statements in an attempt to receive $150,000 in coverage.
Tanya Nobblen, 46, of the 8200 block of Forrest Ave., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy. According to investigators, Nobblen falsely reported to her insurance company that her vehicle was parked and that she was in the vehicle with another person when it was struck in a hit and run. She later made a claim for benefits under her policy, and falsely reported she was injured as a result of the accident, investigators alleged in a criminal complaint.
Angel Paz Manriquez, 34, of the 2200 block of David Drive, Bristol, Bucks County, is charged with one felony count of insurance fraud, a separate misdemeanor count of insurance fraud and one count each of criminal attempt to commit theft by deception and criminal use of a communication facility. Investigators alleged in a criminal complaint that Manriquez, as he made an insurance claim, reported that he was involved in an automobile collision in June 2016 when he was insured by Progressive Insurance Company. In reality, the collision occurred prior to Manriquez obtaining a new insurance policy.
Shakera D. Nelson, 23, of the 200 block of E. Walnut Park Drive, Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception and criminal use of a communication facility. Investigators reported that Nelson was involved in a two-car automobile accident when she did not have insurance coverage on her vehicle. It is alleged that she obtained an insurance policy through Progressive Insurance after the accident, and later falsely stated that the accident occurred before her purchase of the policy.
Andre Corey Goodson, 47, of the 7000 block of Souder St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. It is alleged that Goodson in February 2016 filed an insurance claim with Geico Insurance Company, stating that he was driving his vehicle with a passenger in the passenger seat when he was involved in an accident. Goodson allegedly claimed that both he and the passenger were injured as a result of the accident. However, an investigation confirmed that Goodson and the passenger were not in the vehicle when the accident occurred. Rather, one of Goodson’s friends was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Linda Rausch, 47, of the 2900 block of Bunker Hill Road, Bensalem, Bucks County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, criminal use of a communication facility and unlawful use of a computer. Investigators reported that Rausch added coverage for an additional car to her existing Progressive Insurance policy. She then submitted a claim for an accident involving that vehicle and falsely claimed the accident occurred after the added coverage was obtained, according to investigators. The accident in fact occurred prior to Rausch adding the car to her policy. She is accused of providing false reports in an effort to obtain insurance benefits to which she was not entitled.
Samuel D. Carbo Jr., 58, of the 100 block of Highland Drive, Coatesville, Chester County, is charged with 1,190 counts of failure of employer to carry workman’s compensation insurance. An investigation confirmed that Carbo, who operated a trucking company based in Coatesville, Chester County, failed to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for his employees. Investigators reported that Carbo had multiple contracts with the U.S. Postal Service to transport mail.
Mandeep Pankajkum Patel, 31, of the 2500 block of Knights Road, Bensalem, Bucks County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception and criminal use of a communication facility. Investigators determined that Patel provided false and misleading information in a claim to his automobile insurance company. Patel reportedly claimed damage to his vehicle occurred after he added comprehensive coverage to his existing policy. The investigation confirmed the damage to Patel’s vehicle occurred before he added the comprehensive coverage.
Darryl Brown, 34, of the 1300 block of Valley Drive, West Chester, Chester County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception and criminal use of a communication facility. According to investigators, Brown was involved in an automobile accident at a time when his automobile insurance policy had lapsed. Brown called to obtain a new policy. Later on the same day, he allegedly made false statements about the accident to his insurance company, stating it occurred after he had obtained the new policy.
Western Region:
Deidre L. Keith, 30, of the 1100 block of Main St., Northern Cambria, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. Keith was involved in an automobile accident in October 2016. On the same day the accident occurred, she called to reinstate her lapsed policy with Progressive Insurance. Keith then allegedly provided false information to Progressive Insurance, claiming the accident occurred prior to her reinstating insurance coverage on her vehicle.
Annie M. Matkoskey, 48, of the 100 block of Matkoskey Drive, Acosta, Somerset County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. A relative of Matkoskey was involved in an automobile accident in November 2016. According to investigators, on the day of the accident Matkoskey called Progressive Insurance to obtain an insurance policy for the vehicle involved in the accident. Two days later, she submitted a claim for the accident in which falsely stated that it occurred after she had obtained the policy, investigators reported.
Marquaa Nicole Jackson, 26, of the 5300 block of Youngridge Drive, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and theft by deception. Investigators reported that Jackson obtained a renters insurance policy in August 2015. On the day that the policy went into effect, she filed a claim in which she stated her bathroom ceiling collapsed, causing damage to several personal items. An investigation confirmed that the leak occurred well before the inception of the policy and the personal property was not damaged as Jackson claimed.
Robert Shawn Kelley, 55, of the 1100 block of Buchanan Road, White, Fayette County, is charged with one count each of workers compensation fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. According to investigators, Kelley was injured while working for a restoration company, which led to him receiving workers’ compensation benefits. It is alleged that Kelley worked and received wages as a handyman, which included breaking concrete slabs, during the time period when he claimed he was not employed and his physical condition had not changed.
Emmajean Joy Mowery, 56, of the 200 block of Iron Bridge Road, Kittanning, Armstrong County, is charged with one first-degree felony count of arson, a separate second-degree felony count of arson and one count each of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception and endangering the welfare of children. According to a criminal complaint filed in support of the charges, Mowery intentionally started a fire at a residence in Kittanning with the intent of destroying property within the home. She is further accused of submitting an insurance claim in which she claimed the fire was accidental. Mowery’s grandson was also in her care at the time she allegedly set the fire.
Jamarah Smokes, 26, of the 200 block of Cooper Ave., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. During October 2016, Smokes was involved in an automobile accident. Investigators allege that she obtained an insurance policy with Esurance Insurance hours after the accident occurred. She is accused of later providing false information to the insurance company in which she falsely claimed the accident occurred after the new policy had gone into effect.
Angela Wilson, 35, of the 900 block of Central Ave., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. Investigators allege Wilson provided false information in an insurance claim. Wilson had been involved in an automobile accident in October 2016 at a time when her insurance policy had lapsed due to non-payment. Wilson contacted Safe Auto hours after the accident to obtain coverage. Two days later, she allegedly made a claim in which she falsely claimed the accident had occurred after the new coverage had gone into effect.
Gwendolyn Marie Griggs, 25, of the 1600 block of Shanksville Road, Berlin, Somerset County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. Investigators reported that Griggs in October 2016 added comprehensive coverage to her existing automobile insurance policy. Less than a week later, she made a claim to Geico Insurance, indicating that her vehicle was hit by a deer after the comprehensive coverage was added. In reality, the damage occurred prior to Griggs adding the comprehensive coverage to her policy, investigators reported.
John Kostas Bourbakis, 34, of Weirton, W.Va., is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. It is alleged that Bourbakis made a fraudulent insurance claim in which he stated he was residing at a residence in Langeloth, Washington County when a fire damaged the residence. Investigators said they determined the property was in fact being rented by another family at the time the fire occurred.
Tamecia Marie Banks, 24, of the 400 block of Jacksonia St., Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. Banks in August 2016 made a claim to Progressive Auto Insurance, her automobile insurer, in which she allegedly claimed damage to her vehicle. An investigation determined that the damage occurred before Banks had obtained the policy with the insurance company, meaning the statements she made were false.
Areti Dafnos, 41, of the first block of Bellview Circle, McKees Rocks, Allegheny County, is charged with five counts of insurance fraud, three counts of criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, two counts of theft by deception and one count of tampering with records or identification. Dafnos made five false claims to various insurance companies. In one case, she allegedly submitted falsified invoices and documents from various automotive repair facilities to Nationwide Insurance Company to support a false claim concerning damage to her vehicle. She is also accused of submitting separate claims to Farmers Insurance Company, State Farm Insurance Company and Allstate Insurance Company in which she falsely claimed that damage to her vehicle occurred after the inception of the respective policies. Furthermore, Dafnos is accused of submitting a false claim regarding damage to her property that she alleged was caused by a broken water line. Investigators said the water line was never broken.
Jeffrey Hixon, 31, of the first block of Cove Road, Washington, Washington County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. Hixon experienced mechanical issues with his diesel-powered Dodge Ram truck after he filled it with regular gasoline. He reportedly filed a claim with Geico Insurance company, his automobile insurer, to pay for damages to the vehicle’s fuel system, but the claim was denied because he did not have comprehensive coverage on the policy. Hixon later obtained a new policy through Nationwide Insurance and committed insurance fraud by attempting to file a claim to repair the same damages to the fuel system, investigators alleged.
Vonda Lynn Little, 50, of the 800 block of Memory Lane, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and theft by deception. Little in May 2016 filed an insurance claim with Allstate related to an alleged burglary. She claimed that personal items, including an Apple laptop computer, and a Prada purse, were stolen in the burglary. However, investigators said they determined Little was in possession of those items after the burglary was reported.
Kerrie Gene Gill Jr., 57, of the 100 block of Conti Road, Brownsville, Washington County, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. In July 2016, Gill added collision and comprehensive coverage to his automobile insurance policy with Progressive Insurance. Eleven days after adding the coverage, he allegedly filed an online claim indicting his vehicle was damaged in a hit-and-run accident. An investigation confirmed that the damage to the vehicle occurred before Gill called to add the collision and comprehensive coverage to his policy.
Diona Vaughn, 40, of the 900 block of Addison St., Washington, Washington County, is charged with one felony count of insurance fraud, a separate misdemeanor count of insurance fraud and one count of criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. According to investigators, Vaughn was involved in an automobile accident in June 2016. After the accident, she allegedly called to obtain an insurance policy through Safe Auto Insurance. She then provided false information as part of an insurance claim in which she said the accident had occurred before the inception of the policy, according to investigators.