Rough week for Coatesville trucker caught up in state insurance cases

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office on Thursday listed 28 Pennsylvanians charged with insurance offenses. A Coatesville trucker has been caught up in recent state insurance cases.

It's been a tough week for Coatesville-based trucking company owner Samuel D. Carbo Jr., whose self-named firm and 30 drivers haul mail for the U.S. Postal Service, and other cargoes.

On Tuesday, "that was one of my trucks" whose trailer slipped sideways on I-95, blocking afternoon traffic at the Cottman Ave. exit, Carbo told me.

"I was watching it all on the news," he said ruefully, adding that investigators are trying to piece together what went wrong.

And then on Thursday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office listed Carbo among 28 Pennsylvanians charged with insurance offenses. Carbo faces "1,190 counts of failure of employer to carry workman’s compensation insurance" for employees, according to the state.

Carbo told me his firm has grown rapidly since picking up Postal Service work in the past couple of years. But he said postal payments he was owed were delayed last year, falling four months behind at one point and making it tough, Carbo says, for the business to make ends meet.

"What do I do?" he asked me. "I ran the trucks. I got insurance again. I haven't missed a payment" this year. But his insurers still want last year's payments to bring the policy up to date.

Carbo says he's talked to a "pay as you go" insurer and hopes to maintain current coverage, remaining safely in business. And he's calling lawyers to deal with the state case. He told me he's had a total of two workers' comp claims in the 32 years he's been in business, with medical expenses totaling under $10,000.

In the I-95 wreck, Carbo says the driver suffered a "bruised leg" and has been given a couple of days off.

Other area cases cited by Shapiro are all against individuals accused of false claims. The courts consider everyone innocent unless proven guilty.

According to Shapiro's office:

• A Cochranville, Chester County woman is charged with insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, perjury and false swearing. According to state investigators, she injured her hand "when a sign fell on her in a store." She sued the store's insurer, claiming she was unable to work because of the hand injury. But investigators found she was still "working as a caretaker and nursing assistant."

• A Phoenixvile, Chester County woman is charged with insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, criminal use of a communication facility and providing false information to law enforcement authorities. She reported items "stolen from her vehicle when it was repossessed" and "submitted a fraudulent invoice to her insurance company to support her false claim," according to investigators.

• A West Philadelphia man is charged with felony insurance fraud, misdemeanor insurance fraud, theft by deception, criminal use of a communication facility, and forgery. After a May 2016 auto accident, he allegedly "provided a fraudulent proof-of-insurance card," then later "obtained an insurance policy for his vehicle through Safe Auto Insurance" and made "a false claim to the insurance company in which he said the accident occurred after the inception of the policy."

• A Bristol, Bucks County man is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, theft by deception, criminal use of a communication facility, unlawful use of a computer, and providing false information to law enforcement. Investigators say he "reported to police and his homeowner’s insurance company that his house had been burglarized" and a $20,000 diamond ring and other items stolen. But the ring had actually been "seized by local police," which the insurance company didn't realize when it paid the claim. The state calls that fraud.

• A Yardley, Bucks County woman is charged with a felony count of insurance fraud, a misdemeanor count of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, and criminal use of a communication facility. The woman's Philadelphia office burned in a fire. She didn't have fire insurance. After the fire started, she "allegedly contacted an insurance agency and obtained the proper policy to cover the fire damage," then later "made numerous false statements in an attempt to receive $150,000 in coverage."

• A Philadelphia woman is charged with insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, criminal use of a communication facility, and criminal conspiracy. Investigators say she "falsely reported to her insurance company that her vehicle was parked and that she was in the vehicle with another person when it was struck in a hit and run. She later made a claim for benefits under her policy, and falsely reported she was injured as a result of the accident."

• A Bristol, Bucks County man faces charges of felony insurance fraud, misdemeanor insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, and criminal use of a communication facility. Investigators say he filed an insurance claim for an accident that actually happened before he bought insurance.

• A Philadelphia woman is charged with insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, and criminal use of a communication facility. Investigators reported she was uninsured when her car ran into another. She bought a policy "through Progressive Insurance after the accident, and later falsely stated that the accident occurred before her purchase of the policy."

• A Philadelphia man faces charges of insurance fraud, criminal use of a communication facility, and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. He is accused of filing a claim with Geico Insurance Co. in Feb. 2016 claiming he and a passenger were injured in a car accident. But investigators say they found "Goodson and the passenger were not in the vehicle when the accident occurred. Rather, one of Goodson’s friends was driving the vehicle."

• A Bensalem, Bucks County woman faces charges of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, criminal use of a communication facility, and unlawful use of a computer for having "falsely claimed" insured damages to a car she owned after adding it to her Progressive Insurance policy, according to investigators.

• A Bensalem, Bucks County man faces charges of insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, and criminal use of a communication facility. Investigators say the man "provided false and misleading information in a claim" for damage to his car that actually took place before he took out a comprehensive coverage policy.

• A West Chester man is charged with insurance fraud, criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, and criminal use of a communication facility. Investigators say he had an accident when his auto insurance was lapsed. He reinsured the car and wrongly told the insurer the accident had occurred on his new policy.