10 accused of trying to defraud SEPTA by faking injuries in Philly crash

Ten people have been charged with faking injuries during a minor SEPTA bus crash in Philadelphia. 

The accused claimed they were injured when a Route C SEPTA bus hit an abandoned newsstand April 5, 2010. District Attorney Seth Williams says SEPTA produced video of the incident that discounted stories of injuries.

“Video from inside the bus shows that no one made movements that would go along with an injury,” Williams said Monday. “The only damage is a broken mirror and a window on the side of the bus.

“We’re charging 10 people with filing insurance fraud,” he said. “What’s important to know is that four of the individuals weren’t even on the bus.”

It’s a tactic he’s familiar with, Williams said.

“I grew up in Philadelphia and the joke always was if a bus has an accident on 60th Street, people on 52nd Street fall down,” he said. “We’ve put an end to that.  SEPTA takes very seriously, and the District Attorney’s office takes very seriously, ending insurance fraud.”

Installing cameras has cut down on reports of fake injury claims, confirmed SEPTA general counsel Jm Jordan. As SEPTA installs more surveillance, he said, it’s demonstrating the agency is serious about prosecuting fraud.

“Roughly this case could have cost us between $100,000 and $1 million without the help of District Attorney Seth Williams and his colleagues,” Jordan said.

Jordan says by the end of next year, SEPTA hopes to have all its vehicles equipped with recording devices.

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