CDI Busts 19 Bay Area Auto Body Shops

May 20, 2003

Nineteen California auto repair shops were busted by the Department of Insurance last week for allegedly providing fraudulent written repair estimates for vehicles that had no visible damage, according to the Associated Press.

Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi said several arrests were made resulting from the six-week investigation, in which an undercover officer visited a total of 51 shops in the San Francisco area. Nineteen of those shops supplied the officer with fake estimates ranging from $3,500 to $4,700.

In all, 20 people were arrested and will each be charged with one felony count. If convicted, the suspects could face two to five years in state prison and a fine of $50,000.

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