YouTube Video Leads To Calif. Auto Insurance Fraud Arrest

March 15, 2010

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that on March 5, Jay Xi Chen and his sister, Tracy Chen Chen, both of Diamond Bar, Calif., were arrested at their residence on felony auto insurance fraud charges for filing an allegedly false insurance claim surrounding damage done to a Nissan GT-R supercar. Jay was charged with six counts; Tracy was charged with one.

A four-month investigation revealed that Jay reported to Farmers Insurance Exchange that his sister had been driving the GT-R when it was involved in a collision on Interstate 10 on March 16, 2009. Tracy corroborated this story. Jay later withdrew this claim, stating he would pay for the repairs himself.

On June 2, 2009, Jay reported another claim with the same vehicle, stating that this time he crashed the auto while driving on Highway 60 in Riverside County.

However, ICC Collision Center reported that it had Jay’s unrepaired Nissan GT-R in its shop since March 2009.

Furthermore, a video found on YouTube showed a Nissan GT-R being driven on San Gabriel Mountain Road in the state during what appears to be a street race. The supercar crashed into a wall. Detailed inspection of the video showed the GT-R has the same damage as the one in Jay’s claim. The potential loss of this claim was $76,000.

The criminal charges were filed against the Chens by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting the case. Each count could result in a penalty of up to five years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines if convicted.

The arrest resulted from an investigation by the Inland Empire Organized Automobile Fraud Interdiction Team operating out of the California Department of Insurance’s (CDI’s) Inland Empire Regional Office. This team is comprised of CDI and the California Highway Patrol. Farmers also provided assistance during the investigation.

Source: CDI

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