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
Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.