Galati brother-in-law pleads guilty in insurance-fraud case Updated: September 10, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
by Julie Shaw, Staff Writer
A brother-in-law of reputed mob associate Ronald Galati Sr. pleaded guilty Friday to charges of insurance fraud and conspiracy in a widespread scheme spearheaded by Galati.
Joseph Clark, 59, of the 2500 block of Garnet Street in South Philadelphia - the same block on which Galati lived - was sentenced under a plea deal to five years of probation and ordered to pay $12,000 in restitution.
Under the deal, the probation can end after restitution is paid.
Galati, 65 - who is serving federal prison time for trying to have his daughter's then-boyfriend killed in Atlantic City in November 2013 - pleaded no contest Wednesday to corrupt organization, theft, and related charges in the insurance-fraud case. His son, Ronald Jr., 38, pleaded guilty to theft and related charges. They are to be sentenced Dec. 9.
The Galatis' auto-body shop, American Collision & Auto Center at 1930 S. 20th St. in South Philadelphia, was at the center of the fraud scheme in which 40 defendants were charged. Most have pleaded guilty.
Assistant District Attorney Dawn Holtz told Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Minehart that Clark falsified two insurance claims.
He claimed that on May 16, 2010, he was driving Galati Jr.'s 2008 Jaguar in FDR Park in South Philadelphia when the Jaguar was struck by a rental car. The investigation revealed that no accident occurred.
He also claimed that on Feb. 24, 2009, he was driving Galati Sr.'s 2004 Land Rover on Route 322 in New Jersey when the vehicle was struck by a deer. The investigation revealed that also was false.
In both cases, claims were filed to Erie Insurance with false documentation that the vehicles were repaired at American Collision.