Pennsylvania authorities announced on Jan. 22 that a Doylestown family was accused of filing more than $20 million in false insurance claims associated with fires that occurred at their mansion. Five family members, including a 67-year-old woman, were taken into custody.
An investigation into the family was launched following a fire that occurred at the mansion in 2013. This fire was one of three incidents that had occurred at the home within a five-year period. As a result, the family allegedly filed claims with their insurance provider in excess of more than $20 million. Additionally, however, the 67-year-old woman was also accused of falsely stating that the firefighters who battled the blaze stole approximately $10 million. The insurance provider was reportedly refuting the claim filed for the alleged missing jewelry.
The woman was charged with forgery, conspiracy and witness intimidation. It was also noted that there was supposedly evidence that the woman had a history of filing insurance claims that appeared questionable, though it was not known if any of the charges filed against her were associated with these past claims. It was also not noted if any of the other four family members were facing charges for the alleged insurance fraud.
A person may be accused of insurance fraud if it is believed that they file a false or exaggerated insurance claim with their provider. Depending upon how much money was supposedly involved in the fraud, the punishments associated with a conviction could be serious. There are, however, certain defenses that may be used depending on what the circumstances of the case are. In some cases, for example, the attorney may provide evidence that the claims filed by the accused person are correct or that the person did not intend to file a false or exaggerated claim.
Source: FOX News, "Family accused of $20M insurance fraud after multiple fires, jewelry theft claim at mansion," Associated Press, Jan. 22, 2015