Commissioner Jim Long and the North Carolina Department of Insurance announced the sentencing of three Chatham and Randolph County residents guilty of perpetrating an extensive auto insurance fraud ring. Dorothy DePaz, 54, Jose DePaz, 40, and Reynaldo Colores, 31, pleaded guilty in Chatham County Superior Court. All received active time.
Department of Insurance investigators worked with other agencies to shut down the alleged ring, which investigators believe filed at least 480 fraudulent auto crash claims with insurance companies since 1992. The companies paid out an estimated $2 million in phony claims.
An initial 45 indictments were returned from a grand jury in April, and these defendants are only three of what is believed to be a large ring spanning Chatham and Randolph Counties. More arrests and/or charges may be pending.
The charges and sentences are as follows:
Dorothy DePaz of Siler City – two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses, three counts of felony conspiracy and one count of attempting to obtain money by false pretense. Ordered to serve two sentences of four to five months active time to run back to back, and a four to five month sentence to run concurrently.
Jose DePaz of Randolph County – three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. Ordered to serve two sentences of five to six months active time to run back to back. Also ordered to pay $14,771.55 in restitution by civil judgment and 30 months supervised probation after his active sentence is served.
Reynaldo Colores of Siler City – two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. Ordered to serve six to eight months active time.
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