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Pennsylvania driver accused of falsely saying was rammed

April 17, 2019, Clifton, PA — A Clifton Heights woman has been charged with submitting a fraudulent car insurance claim for an accident that occurred in December 2018.

Margaret Towell, 32, of the 200 block of Baltimore Avenue, was released on unsecured bail following a preliminary arraignment Tuesday morning before Magisterial District Judge Kelly A. Micozzie-Aquirre, according to online court records.

Towell is charged with three felony offenses: False/fraudulent/incomplete insurance claim; theft by deception involving false impression; and criminal use of a communication facility. It was not immediately known if she had retained an attorney.

“Here in Delaware County we have zero tolerance for insurance fraud, and individuals, such as Margaret Towell, who commit insurance fraud will be held accountable for their action,” Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland stated in a prepared release.

Towell’s arrest capped a joint investigation by Clifton Heights police, detectives from the county’s Criminal Investigation Division Fraud Unit, and a Farmers Insurance investigator.

According to the release, Towell filed an accident claim with Farmers Insurance on Dec. 16, 2018, in reference to an accident that occurred at North Springfield Road and Summit Street in Clifton Heights the day before, Dec. 15. She indicated she was driving her Ford Escape on Springfield Road when an unidentified vehicle hit her bumper, causing her to lose control of the Escape, swerve and hit a pole. Towell informed investigators that two children and her boyfriend were in the car with her at the time of the wreck. She also indicated the striking car drove away from the scene without ever stopping.

An investigation into the claim revealed that Clifton Heights police responded to an accident at North Springfield Road and Summit Avenue in Clifton Heights on Dec. 15, 2018, at 9:48 p.m. At that time, police saw a vehicle, identified as Towell’s Ford Escape, with heavy front-end damage. The vehicle’s driver, later identified as Towell’s boyfriend, was on scene along with two children. The investigation and witness interviews revealed that Towell’s boyfriend was driving the vehicle erratically and ran into a utility pole. Based on their investigation, Clifton Heights police charged him with driving under the influence, according to the release.

According to the release, Towell was interviewed by Farmers Insurance Investigator Nicole Treadwell on Dec. 31, 2018. l. At that time, Towell admitted that she was not the driver of the 2011 Ford Escape at the time of the accident, but rather her boyfriend. An investigation was subsequently launched by the county Detectives Christopher Sponaugle and Edward Kazlo, who met with Towell in reference to her insurance claim.

“As a result of the investigation, it was determined that Margaret Towell provided false information when she filed her claim with Farmers Insurance when she reported she was the individual driving at the time of the accident,” the release states.

Copeland commended investigators for their joint efforts in the case.

A preliminary hearing is listed for May 2 in Micozzie-Aquirre’s court.

Source: Delco Times

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