DA: Frankford auto shop owner arrested for insurance fraud

insurance fraud suspect darryl sewell
Darryl Sewell, 42.
Credit: Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office charged Darryl Sewell, 42, and his auto body shop PSK Custom Collision Center for allegedly filing fraudulent insurance claims, exaggerating damages to vehicles and completing repairs using cheaper and inferior substitution parts.

Sewell is accused of misappropriating over $13,000 in claim checks issued by Travelers Insurance.

Detectives with the District Attorney Office’s Insurance Fraud Unit began investigating Sewell and his shop, located at 4831 Duffield St. in Frankford, after receiving a referral from Travelers Insurance Company stemming from a customer who was in August 2011 involved in an accident causing minor damage to the hood and front bumper of her 2004 Honda Accord.

Travelers appraised the damage and issued a check for over $4,300, and the insured customer, at the suggestion of a friend, took her vehicle to PSK Auto Body to be repaired by Sewell.

She contacted Travelers after she was dissatisfied with Sewell’s work, according to investigators.

Prosecutors said when Travelers provided the woman with photos taken by their appraiser at the time of the initial estimate, the woman noted her own photos, taken at the scene of the accident, showed much less damage.

A second appraiser hired to do a re-estimate of the damages allegedly found many auto parts Travelers paid for to be replaced were instead repaired by PSK and that, though Travelers had paid for repairs to be completed using original Honda parts, they were instead done using cheaper, aftermarket parts.

In addition, even after the repairs, prosecutors said the Honda still had a damaged right fender.

They claim Sewell misappropriated the insurance claim check and forged the insured woman’s name on it.

A second Travelers customer in September 2011 reported he took his Ford Escape to PSK after it was vandalized outside his work.

A Travelers appraiser issued a check for over $8,000 to cover the cost of repairs, but the customer claimed three months later the work still hadn’t been completed.

Travelers allegedly found PSK Custom Collision had already cashed the claim check, which the insured customer denied ever seeing or signing.

According to investigators, an appraiser visited PSK and found though the auto body shop was supposed to replace four doors, two fenders, a windshield and the car’s hood and headlights, the collision center instead “made poor attempts to repair parts or replace the parts with less expensive aftermarket parts.”

Sewell was arrested Monday and charged with criminal conspiracy, theft by deception, forgery and insurance fraud.

He is next due in court Sept. 16 for a status listing.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.