Over 500 professionals from 21 states attended the two-day event at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Awards were presented by IFPA executive director Tom Donahue.

This year’s winners included Senior Deputy Attorney General Eric Schoenberg, Insurance Fraud Section, PA Office of Attorney General; Special Agent Lawrence McGuffin, Insurance Fraud Section, PA Office of Attorney General; Senior Deputy Attorney General Kara Cotter, Insurance Fraud Section, PA Office of Attorney General; Supervisory Special Agent Robert Gift, Insurance Fraud Section, PA Office of Attorney General; Susan Collare, Senior Fraud Analyst, Highmark; Diane Svec, ISS Supervisor Northeast Region Zone I, Erie Insurance Group; Jeff Miller, former Vice President of Account Services, PPO&S; as well as Dawn Holtz, Assistant Chief – IFU, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office who received the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud’s National Merit Award.

“Insurance fraud is one of America’s costliest crimes,” said Donahue, “and it’s a privilege to recognize those who are on the front lines of investigating and fighting it here in Pennsylvania.”

Schoenberg and McGuffin were recognized for successfully prosecuting the matter of Commonwealth versus Richard Piccinini, Jr. in a case that involved the financial abuse of two elderly sisters from Montgomery County. Piccinini, who sold annuities to the sisters, deceptively and repeatedly misled them by failing to disclose the nature of both annuities and the surrender penalties. The scheme drained more than $200,000 from the victims’ life savings while Piccinini took almost $200,000 in net commissions.  

Cotter, Gift and Collare were recognized for their investigative work on the case known as Commonwealth versus Lisa Wally. Collare’s work identified numerous instances of billing by Wally for services that were not rendered. The case was later referred to Cotter and Gift of the PA Attorney General’s office. The investigation revealed that Wally billed a total of 9,746 office visits for 22 patients, when in fact she had only completed 1,987 office visits with 22 patients.

Svec was recognized for her strong commitment to fighting insurance fraud for the past 15 years at the Greater Pittsburgh IASIU Chapter. She has played a leadership role at the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of IASIU since 2002, where she has served as a member of the board of directors, vice president, and as president from 2013 – 2016. Svec continues to support Greater Chapter IASIU activities and volunteers at IASIU International and IFPA seminars.

Miller, who retired in late 2016 from Harrisburg-based marketing communications firm PPO&S, began his involvement with the IFPA in 2009 when the PPO&S team began developing the IFPA’s “Know The Risks, Know The Penalties” education and prevention campaign. Jeff played an integral role in the creation of this award-winning campaign, which has been modeled by other states and had a strong presence at the past three PA Fraud conferences, lending his expertise to behind-the-scene details and attending to exhibitor needs.

Holtz has been dedicated to prosecuting criminals in the City of Philadelphia for over 28 years as an assistant district attorney and has spent the past four years in the insurance fraud unit. She was recognized for the arrest of mob associate Ron Galati, Sr. and 40 of his co-conspirators including a Philadelphia police officer, a city official, insurance fraud adjusters and tow truck operators. The $5 million dollar insurance fraud scheme involved staging, inventing and enhancing automobile accidents and vandalisms in Galati’s family-owned auto body shop.

The IFPA was created in 1994 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly through Act 166, Pennsylvania’s Insurance Fraud Prevention Act, to arm law enforcement with the resources necessary to fight insurance fraud in the Commonwealth. IASIU, founded in 1984, is an organization dedicated to advancing the efforts of law enforcement and insurance industry fraud investigation professionals in combating insurance fraud. For more information, visit www.helpstopfraud.org, and www.iasiu.org.

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Report Insurance Fraud!

This website provides a listing of law enforcement agencies that fight fraud. To report anonymously, consumers can call the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s tip line at 1-800-TEL-NICB or the IFPA’s tip line at 1-888-565-IFPA.