CONTRA COSTA — After an undercover sting operation, four people were arrested and eight felony counts of insurance fraud resulted.
Various body repair shops were the targets of the investigation. In one case, undercover officers went into the shops in which employees there provided them with written bogus documentation to give their insurance company to support fraudulent insurance claims.
In another sting, employees at a shop coached undercover officers on how to tell a false story to the insurance company, and steering them how to lie when and how the vehicle damage occurred.
The individuals arrested are –
- 26-year-old Estephanie Gonzalez-Marquez of Pittsburg;
- 49-year-old Marco Antonio Hernandez Santizo of San Pablo;
- 30-year-old Kyle Alan Coburn of Elk Grove;
- 33-year-old Vu Phong Hoang of Clayton.
The Insurance Commissioner notes, “These suspects brazenly worked to rip off insurance companies by making bogus insurance claims,” said Ricardo Lara. “We are tackling the issue of insurance fraud head on, and are taking proactive steps to educate the public and provide a deterrent message to those knowingly breaking the law. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. We all pay for the cost of fraud through higher premiums. Working with our partners at the District Attorney’s Office and the NICB will help fight this multimillion dollar problem and bring fraudsters to justice.”
It is also noted that “auto insurance fraud is one of the most common types of fraud in California, with estimates in the tens of millions of dollars annually.”