Altering and then cashing a check received from an insurance company is not insurance fraud if the unaltered check was not issued and delivered as a result of some fraudulent activity

Commonwealth v. Goodson, 28 WAP 2010 (Pa. 12/21/2011) (6 pages)

In a bit of amusing doggerel, Justice Eakin made the point that an insurance claimant does not commit insurance fraud in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. §4117 (a)(2) when, after making a lawful demand for payment of an insurance claim, and receiving a check in an amount far less than the claimant hoped, the claimant forged a check and then cashed it against the insurer’s account for what the claimant deemed a far more acceptable amount. On de novo, plenary review of sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the conviction, the Court found the law punished fraud in making a claim against an insurance company, and not in forging its checks. Mr. Goodson’s convictions for theft and forgery stood, unchallenged.

The case can be found here.

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