Insurance Fraud West Chester, PA Man Gets Probation

Another chapter has been added to the ongoing criminal saga of East Brandywine building contractor Bradley Comp, whose string of arrests and convictions in Chester County dates back to the 1980s.

On Tuesday, Comp was sentenced to two years’ probation by President Judge James P. MacElree II in accordance with a guilty plea agreement on charges of attempted insurance fraud that was hammered out between Comp’s attorney and Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Harrar.

Comp admitted that he had attempted to settle an insurance claim for $32,000 worth of custom housing materials, including rustic cherry kitchen cabinets, that he told East Brandywine police were stolen from a home he was building for himself on Township Road in April 2010.

The claim, made to Allstate Insurance, was ultimately denied because insurance investigators ruled that the home had not been finished and thus was not properly part of a homeowners’ policy. Comp never collected on his claim.

But in April 2011, a year after he reported the custom cabinets and other items had been stolen in a burglary, an East Brandywine building inspector who was in Comp’s home on other township business noticed the cabinets installed in the kitchen.

Police, led by township Lt. Gene Babetski, ultimately tracked the cabinets to a custom woodworker in Delaware, who was able to help them determine that the units in Comp’s house were those that he had made for him in 2010 and that Comp had reported stolen to police and the insurance company.

It was during a search of Comp’s home by police investigating the insurance fraud claim in December 2011 that a Colt .45 handgun was found in a briefcase in a bedroom closet in the house. Because he had been convicted of a felony arson in 1987, Comp was forbidden from possessing such firearms.

Comp, convicted of the firearms charge in December, was sentenced to MacElree in June to 11½ to 23 months in Chester County Prison. However, the 52-year-old remains free on $500,000 bail pending an appeal of his conviction. In court documents, Comp’s attorney, Scott Kramer of Media, contends that the guilty verdict on the firearms charge came against the weight of the evidence.

Comp’s son testified at the trial that the gun, a family heirloom, belonged to him and not to his father, even though it was found in a briefcase with his father’s initials. The jury hearing the case took less than 30 minutes to find Comp guilty on the charge.

In addition, Comp is facing a probation violation hearing in November for having violated his probation by being convicted of the firearms charge.

Comp, whose family lived on Grubb’s Mill Road in Willistown for many years, first came in contact with police in May 1985. He was involved in an attack on a Latino family at an apartment in Kennett Square he owned and with who he was having a landlord tenant dispute.

According to court records, Comp and his then-wife Suzanne hired two men to rough the husband up. The man was ultimately shot as he stood in his front hallway, and Comp was sentenced to six to 23 months for conspiracy. He was prosecuted by then-Assistant District Attorney Anthony Sarcione, who is now a Common Pleas Court judge.

In the case that led to his felony conviction, Comp was arrested in 1987 by state police for arranging to burn down a house under construction that he was working on. He had hired a construction worker to pour gasoline at the house so that he would not have to fix a structural problem with the roof. Later he approached the contractor who was building the house in East Marlborough and offered to show him how to claim inflated insurance costs.

He was sentenced in 1988 to 15 months to 30 months in state prison, but was allowed to serve his time in county prison.

Then in late 1991, he was charged by Willistown police who discovered he had reported a vintage 1960 Corvette stolen, when in fact it turned out that Comp had disassembled the car and sold its parts to a Berks County antique car dealer. In 1993, he was found guilty of insurance fraud at trial and later sentenced to 11½ to 23 months in county prison.

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