Charges Filed Against Pa. Man for Staging Accident, Filing False Claim

November 3, 2005

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett announced that agents from the Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section have filed criminal charges against a Lycoming County man accused of staging an accident and filing a fraudulent personal injury claim. Corbett identified the defendant as Larry Atkinson, 43, of Ralston.

Corbett said that in September 2002 Atkinson allegedly staged an accident at a Lycoming County construction site where he was working in an effort to collect a personal injury claim.

According to the criminal complaint, Atkinson attempted to injure his leg and his elbow, and then jumped into a hole in the construction area to make it appear as if he had fallen into the hole. Atkinson later allegedly arranged for a friend to repeatedly hit him in the knee and the arm, in order to aggravate the injuries and make them appear more serious.

On Sept. 26, 2002, Atkinson filed a $15,000 personal injury lawsuit against his employer and the construction company where the staged accident allegedly took place.

According to the criminal complaint, during a legal deposition related to the injury claim Atkinson’s wife provided information that the accident had allegedly been planned and staged in an effort to collect an insurance settlement.

The defendant is charged with one count of insurance fraud and two counts of criminal attempt to commit insurance fraud.

Atkinson was preliminarily arraigned before Williamsport Magisterial District Judge James Sortman and released on $10,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 30, 2005 before Sortman.

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