Twelve people have been charged in Pennsylvania with insurance fraud in a 2004 casino bus crash that authorities allege was staged so the passengers could cash in by filing bogus injury claims.
The crash occurred on April 18, 2004, when an uninsured car drove into the side of a Wertz bus scheduled to bring passengers from the city to Atlantic City, N.J., Attorney General Tom Corbett said.
The vehicles received little damage in the crash, which occurred about five minutes after the chartered bus left its pickup location in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood.
Immediately afterward, 20 of the 21 passengers reported injuries and were brought to a hospital.
Corbett said Wertz’s insurer, Lancer Insurance Co., eventually received claims for all 21 passengers — plus eight others who were not on the bus.
The insurance company received and paid bills for medical treatments that never took place and several pursued litigation against the insurance company, according to court documents.
According to an affidavit, the owner of the car involved in the crash was a cousin of a bus passenger who sought medical treatment costing more than $4,400.
More than $26,000 in bogus insurance claims were paid in total, Corbett said. The dozen defendants were charged with insurance fraud, theft by deception and conspiracy.
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