Two California Men Arrested on Auto Insurance Fraud

July 2, 2009

Two California men have been arrested in connection with auto insurance fraud, the California Department of Insurance reported. Dong Suk Choi of Union City, and Timothy Zen Powell of Palo Alto, were arrested July 1 and charged with multiple counts of automobile insurance fraud. Bail for the men was set at $50,000 each.

A CDI Urban Auto Fraud Task Force investigation, in conjunction with an investigation by Farmers Insurance, revealed that this alleged fraud had taken place. Farmers Insurance conducted reinspections of repaired vehicles from two Choice Auto Body locations in Newark and Santa Clara. Both shops were owned by Choi, and Powell worked as auto body manager at the Santa Clara location. Of 28 reinspections, Farmers discovered that the shop had allegedly over-billed Farmers for repair costs on 20 vehicles. Choi and Powell allegedly repaired old parts when billing Farmers for a brand new part, or used inferior parts in some circumstances. The alleged fraud is estimated to have cost Farmers approximately $15,000.

The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.

The California Department of Insurance Urban Auto Fraud Task Force is comprised of investigators from the California Department of Insurance, CHP and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Source: CDI

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