Talk of ‘deep pockets’ leads to deep trouble for 9

Christine Pullo. Charged with insurance fraud and attempted theft by deception.
Christine Pullo. Charged with insurance fraud and attempted theft by deception.
Posted: October 04, 2012

Nine people who were aboard a SugarHouse Casino trolleybus when it grazed the mirrors of a stopped SEPTA bus in Center City have been charged with faking injuries in a bid to collect insurance payouts, District Attorney Seth Williams' office announced today.

The office said in a statement surveillance equipment on the vehicles not only showed none of the occupants being jarred in the minor incident, but recorded some of them laughing and talking about the casino's "deep pockets" after the driver got off to check for possible damage.

The trolley grazed mirrors with the stopped SEPTA bus grazed on May 7, at 7th and Market Streets, the statement said.

"The contact between the mirrors on the two vehicles was so insignificant that the trolleybus mirror did not sustain any damage as a result of this incident," the statement said.

Still, nine of the 26 passengers on the trolleybus filed personal injury claims against the trolley operator alleging serious, even "traumatic" bodily injuries that required medical treatment and left some suffering "severe pain," Williams' office said.

Charged with insurance fraud and attempted theft by deception are Philadelphia residents:

Wanda Bouie, 54, of Ella Street.

Richard Coleman, 49, of Winton Street

Vanessa Foreman, 54 of Hemberger Street

Gwendolyn Freeman, 68, of Moore Street

Martha Holman, 66, of 32nd Street

Christina Pullo, 49, of 10th Street

George Senick, Jr., 30, of 2nd Street

Marion Alston, 63, of Porter Street

Kimberly Welton, 53, of Winton Street

All have surrendered to the District Attorney's Office and have been arraigned.

The charges are third-degree felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison and/or a fine of $15,000.

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