Public Adjuster Charged With Stealing More than $700K From Customer
By Alex Lloyd Gross
When homeowners or business owners suffer a loss, many turn to public adjuster to deal with the insurance company and have that company represent their interests. Most of the time, that is what happens. When Zenith Public Adjusters opened up a claim for Philly Rubber Inc, a company that makes gaskets, among other things, the claim did not get handled properly at all District Attorney Larry Krasner said. The building suffered serious loss when a sprinkler pipe burst, ruining product and building work space.
As the owner of Zenith Public Adjusters, Michael R. Shelly inspected the damage to Philly Rubber’s factory he met with the owner of Philly Rubber on several occasions, and provided some water remediation services and assistance with the manufacturer’s insurance claim. At some point, Shelly stopped returning Philly Rubber’s phone calls and emails, nor was he present in his Broomall, Pa., office. In November 2019, the owner of Philly Rubber learned that their insurance claim had been closed and multiple settlement checks totaling more than $722,000 had been cashed by Shelly. Eventually, Shelly contacted the owners of Philly Rubber and agreed to send a check, but never did.
Michael Shelley, the owner tuned himself in when he found out that a warrant was issued for his arrest. His next court appearance is February 24 .He is charged with insurance Fraud (F3), Forgery (F3), Theft by Deception (F3), and Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds (F3) . The case was investigated by the District Attorney’s Insurance Fraud Unit.