Presented by IFPA executive director Tom Donahue at Pennsylvania’s 2015 Insurance Fraud Conference in Hershey, this year’s winners included: Michael J. Ebner, retired Senior Financial Investigator with Independence Blue Cross; Dawn Holtz, Assistant Chief of the Insurance Fraud Unit in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office; Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Linda Montag of the Insurance Fraud Unit; Robert DiFrancesco and Al Quintile, both police detectives for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Insurance Fraud Unit; and Rhea Sciarrino, SIU field Investigator with Progressive Insurance.

“Insurance fraud is a felony crime that imposes significant financial and personal costs on individuals, businesses and society as a whole,” said Donahue. “We’re proud to recognize those who are helping to combat this public threat.”

Ebner was named “Fraud Fighter of the Year” for his work on more than 170 cases which have built evidence for 47 criminal referrals to law enforcement agencies and 14 criminal convictions. Considered a subject matter expert in the field of data analysis relating to health care fraud, Ebner was a key investigator for several high-profile cases involving Philadelphia-area physicians engaged in billing schemes and running “pill mills.” His efforts have resulted in the direct recovery of approximately $4.7 million to Independence Blue Cross.

Holtz and DiFrancesco were instrumental in conducting a grand jury investigation which resulted in the arrest of Ronald Galati and 40 of his co-conspirators, which included a Philadelphia police officer, a city official, insurance fraud adjusters and tow truck operators. The $5 million scheme involving staged, invented and enhanced automobile accidents and vandalisms centered in an auto body shop run by Galati and his family members.

Montag and Quintile conducted a grand jury investigation which resulted in 47 defendants being charged for their involvement in a staged slip and fall accident scheme that defrauded 21 insurance companies out of $400,000. Defendants included the individuals who filed the fraudulent claims, “runners” who were paid to recruit them, and attorney Andrew Gaber, a sole practitioner who ran the operation in his law office.

Sciarrino was named “Investigator of the Year.” She has worked with Progressive since November of 2000, and currently serves as sole SIU investigator for western Pennsylvania, conducting investigations from the Wexford (PA) office and in the field. Her investigations include the areas of auto, property, medical, providers and commercial.

Christopher Sloan, Corporate Special Investigative Unit (SIU) Coordinator for PMA Companies (PMA), was named to the IFPA board. Sloan leads the SIU’s efforts and works with multiple disciplines at PMA to deter, detect, and report insurance fraud. Sloan began his insurance career in 1996 as a field investigator specializing in insurance defense work, and joined PMA in 1999 as a workers’ compensation claims adjuster. For the last 14 years, he has worked in the SIU, as a Special Investigator and in his current position as Corporate SIU Coordinator. Sloan is a graduate of Temple University, and received his Senior Claims Law Associate (SCLA) designation in 2006 and his Certified Insurance Fraud Investigator (CIFI) designation in 2007.

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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.