AG's office nets 10 in variety of insurance fraud schemes
A Butler County man set his grandmother's house on fire to cover up his theft of some of her belongings, the state attorney general's office said on Friday.
Brenhan J. Skrak, 35, of Prospect is charged with arson and insurance fraud. He was one of 10 people charged in connection with a variety of insurance fraud schemes. Several defendants were charged with illegal diversion of prescription drugs.
Investigators allege in a criminal complaint that on July 24, 2013, Skrak set fire to Lucille Skrak's Portersville Road home, where he had lived for about a year.
Lucille Skrak had left for a two-week Alaskan cruise on July 10. Investigators said that between July 10 and 24, Brenhan Skrak took a computer, television, dehumidifier and other items, and sold most of them at a New Castle pawn shop. Arson investigators said the fire started in a trash can in the home's computer room. Skrak submitted a claim to Nationwide insurance for $200 worth of clothing and a tent valued at between $600 and $800, investigators said, but that claim was rejected. Nationwide has paid Lucille Skrak nearly $150,000 for repairs and content replacement, and expects to pay $100,000 more to settle the insurance claim, investigators said.
Others charged with insurance fraud, including some with additional charges:
•Timothy Campbell, 33, of Ohio Township; Ryan Blumling, 34, of Moon; and Lucas McCormick, 32, of Coraopolis each were charged with insurance fraud, drug possession and related offenses. The men worked together to pass several fake prescriptions in Campbell's name to obtain painkillers using Campbell's insurance, investigators said. Blumling and McCormick passed other fake prescriptions in Campbell's name without his knowledge, investigators said.
•Melissa Bock, 26, of Natrona Heights wrote or called in more than 40 fake Vicodin prescriptions to pharmacies in Allegheny, Butler and Westmoreland counties while working as a medical assistant at Greater Pittsburgh Orthopedic Associates' Brackenridge office, investigators said. She's charged with illegal drug possession, fraud, forgery, insurance fraud and identity theft. She was fired in January, according to a criminal complaint.
•Anthony Griffith, 55, of New Castle and Matthew Masciarelli, 24, of Connellsville are charged with lying about the times and dates of an unrelated accident because their auto insurance had lapsed.
•Thomas Huth, 29, of Hedgeville, W.Va., and Preston Miller, 40, of Breezewood are accused by investigators of falsely claiming to Nationwide Insurance that Miller had made some electrical repairs to Huth's vehicle when no work was done.
•Shante Reed, 33, of New Castle is accused of filing false insurance claim saying she lost $1,900 in wages when she was caring for her 4-year-old son, who had been bitten by a dog in October.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Penguins not mortgaging future
- Penguins GM Rutherford not counting on Dupuis’ return
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals
- On remote Japanese island, cats outnumber humans
- Pittsburgh’s Downtown tops ranking of small to midsized cities
- Surgeon to examine Pirates’ Cumpton after experiencing elbow discomfort
- Frazer police receive state funding for more undercover patrols at Mills
- Rangers up ante in Metropolitan Division with trade acquisitions
- Pirates special instructor Tekulve taking second chance to heart
- Zoning update raises fears in Ligonier Township