By Larry Alexander
A Manheim couple have been arrested and charged with insurance fraud.
Davoud Kermanshahi, 67, and Ziba Partovi, 55, both of the 4200 block of Cranberry Street, also have been charged with criminal conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
Kermanshahi is being charged with making false reports to law enforcement and unsworn falsification.
According to Lancaster police, on April 5 Kermanshahi reported that his car had been stolen three days earlier at Park City Center.
Kermanshahi told police that he and Partovi, his wife, had driven to Park City in their 1990 Mercedes Benz 300 SEL on April 2, leaving the car in the parking lot. When they came out at about 7:45 p.m., he said, the car was missing.
Kermanshahi said he flagged down a mall security officer to help him search for his vehicle, but that it could not be found. Kermanshahi said he then took the bus home, but did not file a police report on the missing car at that time.
The police report states that Kermanshahi claimed to have spoken April 3 with an officer from Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department, who told him that his car had been found in a parking lot in Shillington by Cumru Township police.
An investigation by Detective Heather Halstead of the city police's Auto Theft Unit found that Kermanshahi filed a stolen car report with his insurer, Nationwide Insurance, on April 5.
Further investigation by Halstead found that Kermanshahi had not left Park City for his home by bus after his car was reportedly stolen. Instead, he had taken a taxi cab from a bus terminal in Lebanon to Manheim that same afternoon, telling the cab driver his car had broken down. It was also found that he had never contacted a Park City security officer.
Contacted at his home by a reporter, Kermanshahi said he was innocent and would fight the charges at an Aug. 29 preliminary hearing.
He maintained the car had been stolen, although he said he has since donated the vehicle to a charity.
He also said he has not cashed the insurance check.
Kermanshahi said he has been in the U.S. for 40 years and worked for the state of New Jersey before retiring to Lancaster County.
After consulting with the Lancaster County District Attorney's office, police arrested Kermanshahi and his wife on Wednesday at their home without incident.
The two were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Mary Sponaugle. Bail was set at $100,000 cash for Kermanshahi and $100,000 unsecured for his wife. Kermanshahi was committed to Lancaster County Prison in lieu of bail and Partovi was released. Kermanshahi's bail was then posted and he too was then released.
Reporter Dan Nephin contributed to this story.
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