Two arrests made in fake L&I scam in Germantown

Two men who swindled a Germantown property owner in a fake Licenses and Inspections scam are under arrest.

Philadelphia Inspector General Amy L. Kurland, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and District Attorney R. Seth Williams announced today charges against Brian K. Davis, 33, of Philadelphia and Rev. Richard Cobb, 57, of Brookhaven, Pa.

Posing as a L&I) inspector and acting at Cobb’s direction, Davis allegedly collected more than $10,000 from the owner of a property on the 5300 block of Wayne Avenue in Germantown.

After the property owner contested a violation issued by a real L&I inspector, contending that he already paid numerous fines, L&I checked internal records and found that no payments had been credited to the property. The property owner also said that Cobb, a pastor at St. Mark’s Baptist Church on the 1200 block of S. 23rd Street in South Philadelphia, had helped him make arrangements to pay an inspector named “Brian” over several months.

L&I referred the matter to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which opened a joint investigation with the Philadelphia Police Department.

The investigation found that Cobb had persuaded Davis in early 2010 to help him swindle the property owner. Cobb told Davis which fines and fees to seek from the property owner while posing as an L&I inspector. Davis allegedly gave Cobb a portion of the proceeds in cash and used some of the money to pay rent.

Police arrested Cobb on April 8, 2011. He was charged with theft, criminal solicitation and related offenses. Davis was arrested on April 27, 2011 and charged with theft, conspiracy, impersonating a public servant and related offenses.

Cobb and Davis were released on bail. A preliminary hearing is set for June 8, 2011.

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