March trial date possible for woman charged with faking her own death

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

A Dallastown woman could go to trial in six months, charged with faking her death in Ukraine in an alleged attempt to collect more than $1 million in life insurance money.

Investigators allege Oksana Brown, 47, conspired with her family to take out life insurance policies with four different companies in late 2018.

The plan came shortly after she went on probation in a theft case, and after she was charged with fabricating allegations that a state police trooper touched her inappropriately.

Policies in place, Brown traveled to Ukraine in September 2019. A month later, she was reported dead, with food poisoning listed as the cause, police said.

Oksana Brown in an April 2018 mugshot.

The false accusation case was dropped, and Brown’s husband Paul Brown allegedly began filing claims on the insurance claims, totaling about $1.25 million, according to charging documents.

Then in May 2020, Brown was revealed to still be alive.

Investigators said efforts to collect on the insurance ended. And as Brown sought to get her passport back and made plans to return to the U.S., the York County District Attorney’s Office began filing charges.

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Two cases were filed in 2020 — one charging Brown with a misdemeanor count of unsworn falsification to authorities with forged or altered documents, the other charging her with a misdemeanor count of insurance fraud.

The D.A.’s office also reinstated the false report case involving the trooper.

More charges were filed in April of this year.

Brown, her husband, Paul, and their son, Anatoliy, were each charged with felony counts of conspiracy. Paul and Anatoliy also faced counts of insurance fraud, court documents show.

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Oksana Brown had also been arrested again on allegations she stole $154 worth of merchandise from the Lowe’s Home Improvement store along Carlisle Road. She was charged with felony retail theft in a separate case.

During a Court of Common Pleas hearing Thursday, attorneys on both sides said a motion will be filed soon to ask for a specific trial date. They indicated Brown’s attorney, John McMahon Jr., wants a date in March 2023.

The trial will apparently involve the three insurance fraud cases and the new theft case as consolidated together, court records show.

The resurrected false report case will run separately after Judge Maria Musti Cook sided with Brown’s defense and decided to not consolidate it with the others.

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The judge ordered that placed on the trial list for the week of Oct. 3.

In that case, Brown filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania State Police in 2018. She alleged a trooper touched her inappropriately during an investigation in a theft case.

Brown, who stated she was a former Baltimore City Police officer, also accused the trooper of propositioning her for sex before a district court hearing in the case. An internal investigation into the allegations found no evidence of wrongdoing by the trooper, records show.

Brown was later charged with counts of unsworn falsification to authorities and making a false report.

That case was filed shortly after she pleaded guilty in the theft case, in which she took some items from a Walmart in Shrewsbury Township and was sentenced to two years probation.

— Reach Aimee Ambrose at or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.