Northwest Philadelphia police officer charged in a car insurance fraud scheme

The Philadelphia District Attorney has charged a Northwest Philadelphia police officer in connection with an insurance fraud scheme.

Gary Cottrell, an officer in the 14th District, is alleged to have “steered” car accident victims to an auto repair shop that, the D.A. says, overbilled insurance companies.

District Attorney Seth Williams says Cottrell and 10 others colluded in an elaborate plan that in some cases involved banging up the cars even more to inflate the insurance claim.

Williams says the whole plan was centered around University Collision Centers, which has operations in Manayunk, 230 Leverington Ave, and in Grays Ferry.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey has suspended Cottrell for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.