CDI Announces Recent Fraud Developments

April 25, 2003

Investigators with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Fraud and Investigation Divisions announced recent developments in the following fraud cases:

* OAKLAND, CA – As a result of an on-going investigation involving Phil-Am Auto Body Shop in Oakland, seven additional arrests were made in Alameda County. The following suspects were charged by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office: Domingo Combe, 80, of Oakland; Amadeo Comilang, 49, of San Leandro; Nolasco Depadua, 45, of Oakland; Rodolfo Eleno, 60, of Hercules; Luthgarda Galvan, 44, of Oakland; Gracia Mangrobang, 65, of Fremont; and Ramon Nobela, 49, of Alameda. The suspects have been charged with felony counts of grand theft, conspiracy and presenting fraudulent insurance claims. Farmers Insurance Major Operations Unit, State Farm Insurance, Allstate Insurance and California State Automobile Association assisted CDI in this investigation.

The investigation revealed the suspects allegedly were involved in separate collisions where they each struck parked, unoccupied vehicles, then filed claims with Farmers Insurance for the fictitious collisions.

* LOS ANGELES, CA – On April 14 and April 16, 2003, Ron Stahr, 40, of Hawthorne, and Michele Morlet, 24, of Whittier, surrendered themselves in to CDI investigators on arrest warrants charging them with filing false insurance claims. Both were booked at the Los Angeles County Jail and bail was set at $30,000 each.

In the fall of 2001, Stahr and Morlet allegedly contacted an individual and requested he photograph Morlet’s license plate on his own personal high-performance vehicle. The individual contacted CDI investigators to report Stahr and Morlet’s unusual request. CDI investigators took the requested photographs and sent them to Morlet, who later reported her car stolen and used the photographs to file a false insurance claim with State Farm Insurance.

* LOS ANGELES, CA – Robert Derrick Franklin, 35, of Los Angeles, a licensed agent and owner of First Class Insurance Agency was arrested and charged with two felony counts of grand theft and booked into the Los Angeles County Jail on April 16, 2003. Franklin’s bail was set at $40,000.

According to CDI investigators, Franklin allegedly sold fraudulent insurance policies to consumers and collected premiums without ever submitting the monies to the insurance companies.

Franklin targeted African American consumers in the Los Angeles and Inglewood areas and CDI investigators suspect there are many more victims.

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