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

Sharpton adapts adversarial style to de Blasio's New…

It was not the first time the Reverend Al Sharpton made his way to City Hall in a fiery mood to scold a mayor about New York City police officers…

National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

Music

polyphonic

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…