April 9, 2015 |
Over three months, Claire Risoldi's jewelry collection - and its insurance policy - ballooned from a couple of pieces worth $100,000 to 52 items worth about $11 million. Weeks later, the Risoldi family's Bucks County mansion caught fire for the third time in three years. The collection disappeared, and Risoldi allegedly claimed that firefighters were to blame. Testifying for the second day in a Bucks County courtroom on Tuesday, insurance adjuster James O'Keefe noted the insurance policy's rapid increase and said insurer AIG would eventually deny the $11 million claim under the belief it was fraudulent.
April 1, 2015 |
The body-shop owner allegedly drove cars into poles and damaged them with forklifts - right across the street from the Darby Borough police station - in a scam to collect inflated claims from insurance companies. On Monday, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan announced charges in a four-year investigation into the elaborate scheme that cost companies at least $85,000 and involved 11 individuals. Whelan said he expected to uncover further instances in the fraud scheme, adding, "We'd be naive to think this is the only amount of activity.
March 30, 2015 |
Glittering jewelry with hundreds of diamonds. A mansion towering over farmland near New Hope. More than 30 luxury cars - Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, Bentleys. Extravagant trappings were a fixture for the Risoldis, the politically connected Bucks County clan charged with duping insurers out of millions of dollars, according to filings from prosecutors and defense attorneys. What remains unclear is how a family whose members include a lawyer, a turnpike employee, a retired sheriff's deputy, and a matriarch who works as a receptionist afforded such a lifestyle.
March 14, 2015 |
A North Philadelphia woman who pleaded guilty in the drowning death of a 7-year-old boy who attended her improperly licensed day care center will be on 10 years' probation after her release from federal prison, where she is serving a five-year term for fraud. That was the most that Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart could sentence Tianna Edwards to Thursday in the June 2012 drowning of Isear Jeffcoat. She has already served 22 months since her arrest. "Horrible negligence" is what Minehart called Edwards' conduct in the death of Isear, whose body was found after nine hours searching in six feet of murky water in a pool at Edwards' mother's house.
March 4, 2015 |
A judge ruled Monday that members of a politically connected Bucks County family charged with $20 million in insurance fraud will have a preliminary hearing - a step that prosecutors had sought to skip. The Attorney General's Office had argued that the grand jury investigation and presentment unveiled last month could eliminate the need for a hearing. But Senior Judge Thomas G. Gavin of Chester County, who is overseeing the case after all Bucks County judges were recused, agreed with attorneys for the Risoldi family and their alleged coconspirators, who said they had a right to the hearing to determine whether they should be tried on all charges.
January 26, 2015 |
For Bucks County Republicans and power brokers, the parties at Claire Risoldi's extravagant mansion near New Hope were unforgettable affairs. Risoldi would book bands. Occasionally she brought in performers to impersonate celebrities including Frank Sinatra or Cher. The Mummers made at least one appearance. She even held her own wedding in front of a crowd that had paid for tickets to a fund-raiser for Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick. "Claire's larger than life," said District Attorney David Heckler, a Republican who had at least one soiree thrown in his honor at Risoldi's estate, a 10-acre property known as Clairemont.
January 24, 2015 |
The Risoldi family calls its white-columned mansion "Clairemont. " Surrounded by 10 acres of rolling farmland outside New Hope, Bucks County, it boasts a swimming pool, six bedrooms, and a ceiling mural of family members dressed in flowing robes, looking down from the heavens. The manse has caught fire three times in five years - and the Risoldis could not have been more lucky, state prosecutors said. Receiving $20 million in insurance payouts from the blazes of undetermined origin, the Risoldis allegedly bought six Ferraris and two Rolls-Royces, $1.2 million worth of jewelry, and another house while spending millions to renovate the damaged one. Matriarch Claire Risoldi, 67, a prominent Republican donor and fund-raiser, was charged Thursday on a slew of felony charges, including insurance fraud and corruption.
December 19, 2014 |
A Media internist was charged Wednesday with illegally dispensing prescription drugs, including Adderall, Percocet and Oxycodone, to two undercover detectives for three months this year. The Delaware County District Attorney's Office charged Lawrence Wean, 60, with insurance fraud and illegal drug distribution. He was ordered held in the county jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. Wean, who practices in an office in the 600 block of Baltimore Pike, saw the two undercover county detectives as patients from July to October of this year, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
November 14, 2014 |
By now, Tianna Edwards, the North Philadelphia day-care operator awaiting trial for her role in the drowning of a 7-year-old in her care, knows her way around a sentencing hearing. Her record includes convictions for shoplifting, gun charges, and insurance fraud as well as probation stints in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. But on Thursday, Edwards, 32, received her stiffest sentence yet: five years and three months in a federal detention center for using her sister-in-law's identity to obtain a state child-care license that her criminal past would otherwise have prevented her from obtaining.