Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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September 28, 2012

Philadelphia woman charged with insurance fraud after claiming to be injured by falling tree

HARRISBURG - A Philadelphia woman was arrested yesterday and charged with filing a fraudulent claim with her insurance company stating that she sustained injuries after a tree limb fell on her car.9-28-12 Joan Burns 250x275

Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendant as Joan Burns, 63, 2534 Amber St., Philadelphia. 

According to the criminal complaint, Burns filed a claim with her insurance company indicating that she sustained injuries after a tree limb fell on her car while she was seated inside. Burns maintained that she received more than $3,000 worth of professional treatment for injuries to her back and right side, which she claimed were the result of the tree limb striking her car.

Kelly said that Burns allegedly filed the complaint about her supposed injuries two weeks after filing an initial claim with her insurance company, which stated that her vehicle was parked and unoccupied when it was struck by a falling tree limb.

Burns is charged with one count of insurance fraud, one count of criminal attempt to commit insurance fraud, and one count of theft by deception.

She was preliminarily arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Nicholas Bentz Jr. and released on $10,000 unsecured bail.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 11, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. before West Reading Magisterial District Judge Timothy Dougherty.

The case will be prosecuted in Berks County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Adrian Shchuka of the Attorney General's Insurance Fraud Section.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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