San Jose, Calif., residents Michael Gaudenzi and Robert Carter have been arrested on charges of automobile insurance fraud, the California Department of Insurance reported. Gaudenzi was arrested Jan. 19 while Carter was arrested Jan. 15. Both were booked into the Santa Clara County Jail and are out on $25,000 bail.
A CDI Urban Auto Fraud Task Force investigation alleges that Gaudenzi submitted a fraudulent insurance claim and Carter conspired to commit insurance fraud after an accident involving Gaudenzi’s Nissan 350Z driven by Robert Carter Jr., 19.
The investigation revealed that Gaudenzi allowed Carter to drive the vehicle on April 10, 2009. Carter was involved in a solo vehicle accident near the corner of South 21st St. and E. Williams St. in San Jose. When Carter told his father of the accident, the father arrived on the scene and towed the vehicle back to Gaudenzi’s residence.
It is alleged by Task Force investigators that Gaudenzi did not have insurance on the vehicle at the time of the accident, but went online and opened a policy on the car the same day as the accident. Gaudenzi paid for the policy by check and the effective date of the policy became April 11, 2009.
Gaudenzi allegedly used the insurance company’s online loss report system on April 12, 2009 to report an accident. According to Gaudenzi’s online report, he claimed to have struck the center divider on the corner of South 21st St. and E. Williams St. in a solo vehicle accident on April 12, 2009. Carter Sr. told investigators he initially supported Gaudenzi’s claims in order to protect his son. The Carters later admitted that the accident occurred on April 10, 2009. Carter Jr. was not charged for auto fraud as he was unaware of the alleged plot, CDI investigators said.
The Urban Organized Automobile Fraud Insurance Task Force is made up of CDI, California Highway Patrol and Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office investigators.
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