HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday that a Bucks County woman was found guilty by a jury of numerous felony charges including dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, insurance fraud, theft by deception, attempted theft by deception and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
The defendant was charged following a Grand Jury investigation, which concluded the woman defrauded an insurance company for millions of dollars to support an “excessively extravagant lifestyle.”
Claire Risoldi, 71, of Doylestown, was arrested in January 2015 by the Office of Attorney General following the Grand Jury investigation. As part of the investigation, the court authorized the seizure of insurance proceeds and assets purchased with insurance proceeds totaling in excess of $5 million. The assets included approximately $1.5 million in bank accounts, six Ferraris, three Rolls Royces, one Ford Shelby GT, and five other vehicles worth approximately $2.8 million. Several parcels of real property, valued at over $2 million, were also restrained pending completion of the criminal case.
“Any Pennsylvanian with insurance is hurt by this type of theft – it inflates rates and causes all of us to pay more,” Shapiro said. “This defendant was focused on herself and her excessive lifestyle, so much so that she broke the law and defrauded an insurance company out of millions of dollars. My Office is pleased with the jury’s verdict.”
According to the Grand Jury presentment, the investigation began after an October 2013 fire at Claire Risoldi’s home in New Hope, Bucks County, or “Clairemont,” as she referred to it.
This was the third fire to occur at Clairemont in the past five years, including one in June 2009 and another in August 2010. Risoldi lived in the home with her husband, Thomas French; her son, Carl; and daughter-in-law, Sheila.
The Risoldis were seeking more than $20 million in insurance proceeds for the October 2013 fire, including over $10 million for property damage and $10 million for jewelry that the Grand Jury found Claire Risoldi falsely accused the volunteer firefighters, who extinguished the blaze, of stealing.
Further instances of alleged fraud and other crimes uncovered by the Grand Jury are detailed extensively in the Presentment, which can be found here.