Office of Attorney General Arrests Five in Unrelated Insurance Fraud Cases

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Yesterday Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced the arrest of five individuals in unrelated insurance fraud cases across the Commonwealth.

The Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section has arrested more than 340 alleged criminals since January 2013.

Below is a list of the defendants and the charges filed against them:

Western Region

Randy John Watral Jr., 25, 19010 Route 286, Hills Dale, Indiana County, was arrested April 20 and charged with two counts of insurance fraud and one count of theft by deception. Watral is accused of adding comprehensive coverage to his auto insurance policy after hitting a deer and then submitting an insurance claim a day later. His bail was set at $25,000 unsecured at a preliminary arraignment. A preliminary hearing is tentatively set for May 19.

Dale E. Bergbigler, 49, 113 Railroad St Hilliards, Butler County, was arrested April 22 and charged with one count each of insurance fraud and theft by deception. Bergbigler is accused of obtaining insurance coverage and then filing a claim for an accident that took place before his coverage started. Bergbigler was released on his own recognizance after a preliminary arraignment. He is tentatively scheduled to appear May 11 for a preliminary hearing.

Zachary L. Riffer, 26, 139 Cluster Avenue, Vandergrift, Westmoreland County, was charged with two counts of insurance fraud and one count of theft by deception. Following a lapse in his insurance policy, Riffer allegedly renewed his policy after getting into a car accident. According to the criminal complaint, he told a representative from the insurance company that he had not been involved in an accident in the last five years. He then allegedly called in to report the accident that had occurred a few days prior. Riffer’s bail was set at $5,000 unsecured following a preliminary arraignment. He is tentatively scheduled to appear June 23 for a preliminary hearing.

Nakisha C. Holcombe, 25, 1810 McClelland Ave., Erie, Erie County was arrested and charged with one count each of insurance fraud and theft by deception. Holcombe allegedly obtained comprehensive and collision coverage and 13 minutes later attempted to submit a claim for a hit-and-run accident. According to the criminal complaint, Holcombe provided photographic evidence of the damage that was time stamped prior to her coverage. Holcombe was released on her own recognizance following a preliminary arraignment. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 29.

Central Region

Alvinia Patrice Barnes, 47, 528 Orange St., Floor 2, Lancaster, Lancaster County, was charged with one count each of insurance fraud and theft by deception. Barnes is accused of submitting three different insurance claims from April 2011 through February 2012 relating to the same damage on her vehicle. According to the criminal complaint, the first claim was submitted to a neighbor’s insurance because that person was responsible for the incident. This company apparently believed the left quarter panel and left rear door damage to be pre-existing. Barnes allegedly received $121.90 for repair of her front bumper. Later, Barnes allegedly tried to once again submit the damage on a claim relating to a break-in and the theft of her stereo and some Christmas gifts. According to the criminal complaint, $425.23 was submitted directly to Barnes for damages. Months later, Barnes allegedly submitted her final claim for a hit and run, in which she cited damage on the left quarter panel and left rear door. According to the criminal complaint, the adjuster believed this damage to be pre-existing and therefore wrote no estimate. Barnes’ bail was set at $5,000 unsecured at a preliminary arraignment. She is tentatively scheduled to appear May 19 for a preliminary hearing.

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


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