Pastor charged with insurance fraud, arson after false claim: DA

police
Credit: Metro file photo

A 57-year-old North Philadelphia pastor has been hit with a slew of charges after he admitted to filing an insurance claim for his car that he destroyed in a fire a day earlier, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said.

Teofilo Santiago, a Pentecostal church pastor, has been charged with arson, insurance fraud, attempted theft by deception, conspiracy and causing or risking a catastrophe.

Around 11:30 p.m., March 20, emergency officials found a 2004 Nissan Quest up in flames on the 2700 block of Emerald Street. Police notified Santiago who said his car had been parked in front of his home on the 1800 block of N. 6th Street and he didn’t know it was missing.

The next day, Santiago called Nationwide Insurance and reported his vehicle had been stolen and recovered by police destroyed. He had reported his Nissan was in good mechanical condition with no prior damage, according to the DA’s office.

The Fire Marshal’s Office examined the vehicle and found the fire started in the passenger’s compartment when an open flame was applied to the combustible material, according to a release from the DA. It was deemed an arson.

A forensic examination showed no forceful entry. It was also found the correct key and transponder code was used to operate the vehicle.

The insurance company found that Santiago’s car was valued at $7,547. The fire’s damage to the vehicle exceeded the value resulting in a total loss. At the time of the fire, Santiago owed $4,700 to his lien holder.

In April, Nationwide Insurance Company investigators contacted the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office after they received a suspected fraudulent vehicle theft claim from Santiago. On April 15, an investigator from the insurance company met with Santiago on the alleged vehicle theft where Santiago maintained his Nissan was in perfect condition when it was allegedly stolen the month before.

The DA’s office said Santiago was shown the result of the forensics examination and he withdrew his stolen claim. He then indicated his car was in poor condition and needed many repairs. He admitted he conspired with another individual to destroy his car, report it as stolen and collect the insurance settlement.

Santiago was arrested this morning and is being processed by Philadelphia Police.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.