The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has announced the arrest of a man and his common-law wife. The two have been arrested in connection to an insurance fraud scheme in which older model luxury cars were used to fake accidents around town.
It is estimated that the two, as owners of the San Jose Body Shop, had staged more than 20 accidents over a 4-year period and scammed insurance companies for more than $140,000, according to Deputy District Attorney Charlotte Chang.
Silicon Valley Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force initiated an operation called “Kings Row,” named for the street on which 27-year-old Juan Ortiz Velazquez and 27-year-old Deisy Ramirez Robles had opened their shop. Other shop owners have also been charged with insurance fraud relating to this case.
Arraignments are set for May 10 at South County Courthouse, authorities say. Velazquez faces 26 counts of insurance fraud and, if convicted, a maximum sentence of 31 years in prison.
Investigations were conducted into multiple accidents. According to the District Attorney’s Office, the ‘accidents’ involved fake hit-and-run incidents or general crashes on Highway 17, often involving luxury models such as Mercedes, BMW, Jaguars, and a Maserati. Insurance claims on the vehicles were all traced back to the same defendants and body shops on Kings Row.
Velazquez is suspected to have personally faked three separate accidents as Robles collected payout checks for 14 reported incidents. For her part, Robles could face up to 19 years in prison.