6 charged for filing false claims as part of SEPTA accident in Frankford

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office has charged six people with filing false accident claims in connection with a SEPTA crash in Frankford in November 2010.

The office has charged 62-year-old Clarence Wright, Jr., 59-year-old Joseph Anderson, 56-year-old Jeanette Sommerville, 47-year-old Donnell Green, 62-year-old Bernard Robinson of the 3100 block of N. 24th Street  – all from North Philadelphia – and 52-year-old Rubin Lindsay of Southwest Philadelphia with insurance fraud, criminal conspiracy and attempted theft by deception. Wright faces five additional accounts of insurance fraud.

According to the DA’s office: On November 25, 2010, the SEPTA Route 56 bus was pulling into the Wakeling Street stop on Torresdale Avenue when a woman tripped and fell while walking to the rear of the bus. The bus had not been in an accident or made any sudden maneuvers and no other passengers reported any injuries at the time. The woman who fell refused to be treated at the scene or go to the hospital, even though paramedics responded to the incident.  During the weeks following November 25, 2010, Clarence Wright, Jr. (AKA “Superman”), Jeannette Sommerville, Bernard Robinson, Joseph Anderson, Donnell Green, Rubin Lindsay and the woman who  tripped and fell all filed personal injury claims against SEPTA for injuries that they say they received as a result of the November 25 incident.  Only Wright and the woman who fell were actually on the bus at the time of the incident.  Wright, Sommerville, Robinson, Anderson, Green, and the woman who fell all initially used the same attorney to submit their claims to SEPTA.  SEPTA referred the matter to Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit (IFU) for investigation of suspected insurance fraud. Camera footage from the bus revealed that only the woman who fell and Wright were on the bus at the time of the accident. After receiving more than $50,000 worth of medical bills from the defendants, SEPTA’ launched an investigation that has Wright allegedly recruited people who were not on the bus to file claims. It was also revealed the woman who fell did suffer an injury. She will not be charged.

All six defendants will be in court this week.

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

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.