Insurance fraud case may go to trial in Greene

May 22, 2014

WAYNESBURG – A jury trial was requested Thursday by the attorney for optometrist David Pokorski Alan, 68, of 100 Grandview Heights, Rices Landing, charged with insurance fraud.

Greene County Judge Farley Toothman scheduled jury selection for Nov. 18. However, Alan will have an opportunity to forgo a trial if he accepts a plea agreement from the attorney general’s office at the Oct. 15 session of plea court.

The state attorney general’s office charged Alan in October with two counts of filing a false, fraudulent or incomplete insurance claim; theft by deception and forgery.

According to the criminal complaint, Alan wrecked his 1966 Cobra kit car in late 2008 and filed claims with both State Farm Insurance and American National Property and Casualty for the damage.

An investigator with the attorney general’s office interviewed Alan’s former personal assistant, Cheryl Rusko. Rusko recalled a crash involving the car for which a claim was filed with State Farm Insurance Co. for a total loss.

Another personal assistant, Krystal Fauvie, said she also remembered a crash involving the same car.

Alan drove the car from his driveway through a neighbor’s bushes, hit a tree and the neighbor’s house, she said.

Fauvie told investigators a claim was submitted by Alan either under Alan Auto Sports or his corporate’s name, Pouvoir.

She said an estimate for the damages to the vehicle was obtained from Wade’s Body and Frame Shop in Waynesburg for about $13,000. Alan allegedly complained to her about the estimate because he felt the car was worth more than that.

Fauvie said Wade’s had explained to Alan that because this was a kit car, and not an original 1966 Cobra, they could order all of the parts to make it like new.

Fauvie told the investigator Alan directed her to pull an old repair estimate from Volker’s Auto Body from his files.

She said she gave Alan the handwritten estimate on Volker’s stationary and a short while later she noticed it was whited out and the new information for the Cobra was on it. She said she realized Alan typed information on the form to reflect repair costs for the Cobra that were considerably higher than Wade’s estimate.

Jeff Volker, owner of the Volker’s Auto Body, told investigators all estimates from his company are handwritten by him. When Volker inspected the copy of the estimate for repairs to the 1966 Cobra kit car, he told investigators he did not prepare it.

He said he never uses a typewriter on estimates and the items were not charged in the way he does it.

Volker further stated he not inspected the car after it was wrecked for purposes of an estimate.

A special investigator for State Farm Insurance reported a payment of $35,379.40 was made to Alan based on the estimate Alan submitted on Volker’s paper. The actual estimate amount from Wade’s was $14,240.

This is not the first time Alan was before the court. He served time in 2011 for tax evasion when he understated his income in returns in 2001 and 2002, and failed to file returns for 2003 and 2004. The IRS claimed Alan had a taxable income of $892,675 during those years.

He paid $3,045 in taxes. He owed $221,971.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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