Fourteen Arrested for Fraud in L.A. Sweep

May 23, 2003

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) Los Angeles County Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force arrested 14 people, including two insurance brokers, suspected of defrauding three insurance carriers in a criminal conspiracy. The defendants allegedly sold insurance policies to uninsured motorists and backdated them to cover prior traffic collisions.

Combined, the defendants have been charged with 105 felony counts, including insurance fraud and conspiracy. If convicted, they face up to five years in state prison and could be ordered to pay restitution. The combined total loss to the insurance carriers exceeds $332,177.

The arrests occurred between Feb. 18 and May 15, 2003 in the Glendale, Burbank, and San Fernando Valley areas. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office/Auto Insurance Fraud Division is prosecuting the case.

The investigation began in Feb. 2001 after CDI received a complaint from an insurance carrier concerning brokers at New Wave Insurance Agency, who were allegedly backdating auto insurance policies to give motorists the appearance of insurance coverage after an accident had already occurred. In exchange for this illegal activity, the agent/broker usually demands a fee. In the case of New Wave Insurance Agency, some applicants were charged up to $3,000 for a backdated policy. Numerous claims were investigated from three affected carriers, including Chicago Insurance Company, Topa Insurance Company, and Deerbrook Insurance Company. The investigated claims occurred as far back as 1997.

Suspects include: RUZANNA ZEYTUNTSYAN, Tujunga, Insurance Broker, New Wave Insurance Agency; JACK GALADJIAN, Van Nuys, Insurance Broker, New Wave Insurance Agency; SERGEY YESAYAN, Glendale; GOAR KHACHIKYAN, Glendale; NSHAN KOTOUKIAN, Van Nuys; GRIGOR YAZDZHYAN, Burbank; GERMAN CANO-LEIVA, Northridge; EDWIN CANO, Northridge; RAFIK YEGIAZARIAN, Van Nuys; ARMEN GAIYAN, Van Nuys; OGANES TOSUNYAN, Van Nuys; GEVORG OGANIAN, Panorama City; GEVORK AKOPYAN, North Hollywood; JOSE GUERRA, Granada Hills.

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