The owner of the Chalfont Collision Center submitted nearly 300 false insurance claims over several years to four insurance companies, pocketing more than $426,000 in payouts the Bucks County District Attorney’s office said.
John Paul Reis, 56, of Newtown Township, turned himself in on Thursday, Aug. 25, on charges of insurance fraud, deceptive business practices, forgery and theft by deception, all third-degree felonies. He was arraigned by District Judge Regina Armitage who set bail at $150,000 unsecured.
The charges filed against Reis are the result of a four-year investigation by the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit, that began in September 2018 after receiving a referral from Erie Insurance’s Special Investigations Unit that alleged the Chalfont Collision Center, at 74 Park Ave., was enhancing and or creating damage to customers’ vehicles to inflate insurance estimates.
The DA’s office said the investigation found that Reis, the owner of Chalfont Collision Center, concocted an insurance fraud scheme where he would wipe a compound mixture onto the body of several vehicles and sometimes strike them with a hammer, making it appear as if the vehicles were involved in an accident, so he could bill insurance companies for more money.
As the investigation progressed, Bucks County Detectives contacted other insurance companies to see if they’ve also had falsified insurance claims from Chalfont Collision. Erie Insurance, Nationwide Insurance, CSAA Insurance Group and Liberty Mutual Insurance collectively identified 289 estimates that contained artificial or inflated damages incorporated into the true facts of the estimates, submitted by Chalfont Collision between 2014 and 2022, the DA’s office said.
The insurance companies identified $426,233.64 in fraudulent claims paid to the Chalfont Collision Center, including 185 by Liberty Mutual Insurance for $312,265.83.