Bogus claims and insurance pains: More fraudsters pulled into the light
Escalon local Peter Goncalves (41) has been arrested by Department of Insurance detectives on three felony counts of insurance fraud. He is alleged to have filed a fraudulent claim with Farmers Insurance Exchange in excess of $18,000, seeking compensation for items he claimed had been stolen during a burglary.
His claim purported that several items were stolen during a burglary in June of last year, among them a high-end mountain bike and gear. Investigation revealed, however, that the receipts Goncalves had provided to show proof of purchases were for businesses that didn’t exist.
Earlier this year, Goncalves also filed claims with CSAA prior to the claim with Farmers. In those claims, the insurer paid out more than $18,000 for the alleged missing items. In the case of the latter claim, the fraud was discovered before the pay-out.
Goncalves is now awaiting trial at the San Joaquin County Jail with bail set at $30,000.
Elsewhere, in Los Angeles, Green Cactus Collective Medical Marijuana Dispensary owners Tiffany Shorter (26) and Jabe Satterfield (77) were arrested on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, pertaining to their failure to carry workers’ compensation benefits for their employees. They are also alleged to have instructed a security officer to lie about his employment status after he’d sustained two injuries from two separate robberies that had taken place at the dispensary, leaving him without benefits and responsible for hefty medical bills.
In November of 2013, the officer was shot three times during the first robbery, and was instructed to tell medical personnel that he was a volunteer, thus negating his eligibility for worker’s compensation benefits. The very next month, the same officer was beaten with a firearm and sustained further injuries.
Shorter and Satterfield face up to four years in prison if convicted. They are housed at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Palmdale Station and are due to appear in court on May 18th.
This story, and the information herein, is based on the official press release by the California Department of Insurance.