Trial date set for woman accused of faking death for life insurance payday

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

A Dallastown woman is set to go to trial next March — charged with faking her death in Ukraine in an attempt to collect more than $1 million in life insurance payouts.

Oksana Brown, 47, is also charged with falsely accusing a Pennsylvania State Police trooper four years ago. The case will go to trial alongside three fraud cases against her.

According to investigators, Brown and her family conspired to take out life insurance policies with four different companies in late 2018. She was on probation for retail theft around the same time and was then charged that year with fabricating allegations that the trooper had touched her inappropriately during an investigation into the theft.

Oksana Brown in an April 2018 mugshot.

Brown and her husband, Paul, allegedly started taking out the insurance policies, adding up to about $1.25 million, between late 2018 and early 2019. She traveled to Ukraine in September 2019 and was reported dead a month later as a result of food poisoning, investigators said.

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The false accusation case was dropped, according to court records, and Paul Brown allegedly started filing claims on the insurance policies. But in May 2020, about seven months after Oksana Brown was reported dead, the efforts to collect on the insurance ended. Brown was reported to be still alive.

Oksana Brown eventually got her passport back and returned to the U.S. as the York County District Attorney’s Office began filing criminal charges against her. Paul Brown and their son Anatoliy were charged as well, each facing felony counts of insurance fraud and conspiracy. The false report case was reinstated.

According to investigators, Oksana Brown filed a complaint with the state police, accusing a trooper of touching her inappropriately during a search as part of an investigation into a shoplifting incident from a Walmart store. She also alleged the trooper propositioned her for sex before a district court hearing.

An internal investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by the trooper, police said.

Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook ordered the three insurance fraud cases and the false accusation case consolidated for trial following a hearing in September.

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That trial is now scheduled for March 6 after attorneys requested the date.

Brown’s attorney, John McMahon Jr., did not immediately reply to a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Across those cases, Oksana Brown is charged with unsworn falsification to authorities, false reporting, insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and unsworn falsification with a forged document.

Beyond those cases, Brown was also charged with felony retail theft in April after police accused her of stealing $154 worth of merchandise from the Lowe’s Home Improvement store along Carlisle Road.

That case will be tried separately, and court records indicate the next action on that is still pending.

Brown is currently free on bail, which across the various cases adds up to $147,500, according to court records.

— Reach Aimee Ambrose at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.