Philadelphia Police Officer & Others Charged In Alleged Insurance Fraud Scheme

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nearly a dozen people, including a uniformed Philadelphia police officer, were charged on Tuesday in an alleged insurance fraud scheme. Investigators believe it could have taken in millions of dollars.

District Attorney Seth Williams alleged 44-year old Gary Cottrell

officer gary cottrell Philadelphia Police Officer & Others Charged In Alleged Insurance Fraud Scheme

Officer Gary Cottrell (credit: Philadelphia Police Public Affairs)

, on the force for 15-years, “tarnished the badge,” by allegedly serving as a “wreck chaser.”

“These frauds raise insurance costs to all honest Philadelphians. many people believe these are victimless crimes. they’re not.”

Investigators believe while on duty – in uniform – and off duty, he directed accident victims to University Collision Centers, with shops in Grays Ferry and Manayunk. Inside them, vehicles were damaged further, which inflated the value of insurance claims. Cottrell allegedly received a percentage of the ultimate insurance settlements.

Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Cottrell was stationed in the 14th district in the Germantown/Chestnut Hill area:

“How greed can motivate people and do despicable acts like this, particularly when you talk about a law enforcement officer. I’m particularly saddened for all the men and women who wear their uniforms proudly.”

Also charged were lawyer Michael Wolf, collision shop owner Edward Hildebrandt, workers there and vehicle damage appraisers. The investigation is ongoing, and more arrests were expected.

Reported by KYW’s Steve Tawa

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  • lISA

    YEs, shame on You Officers, SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!!!!

  • Guess Who

    How’s that AA working for you, Philly?

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  • Jim Wilmer

    This commissioner and DA. are pressing the cops to toe the line. Maybe this was missing in the previous commissioner.

  • HooDatIS?
  • Grandma Havre

    Gee, more corrupt Philly cops. Wow, I’m sooo shocked by this. Philly cops violating people’s rights. Philly cops engaging in criminal activity?!?! Shocking, just shocking. We’ve only seen this about 100 times in the past 6 months. What in the world?

    After what the 15th District did to Mark Fiorino in March nothing surprises me. Go to youtube and listen to the video entitled “Philadelphia Shocking Audio”. I could not believe the ignorance of the law and absolute filth, lies and hate spewing from the mouths of Philly cops. Shame on you, Philadelphia Police, shame on you.

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