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

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.