A father and his son have been arrested for alleged felony insurance fraud and perjury, the California Department of Insurance has reported. Efrin Mario Garcia, 44, and his son, Mario Franklin Garcia, 21, both of San Jose, self-surrendered at the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office in San Jose. Mario Franklin Garcia was also charged with one misdemeanor count of hit and run. Bail was set at $15,000 each.
According to CDI, on July 11, 2009, Mario reported to the Milpitas Police Department that his 2003 Mustang Cobra had been stolen from the parking lot of the Great Mall in Milpitas. Garcia’s vehicle was recovered by the CHP, which found that the vehicle had crashed into a concrete barrier in San Jose and had been abandoned. The vehicle had extensive exterior damage. As a result of the alleged theft and subsequent crash of his vehicle, Mario, with assistance from his father Efrin, filed an automobile insurance claim. Garcia’s vehicle was valued at approximately $16,000 at the time the claim was filed.
During the claims process, Mario allegedly told his insurer that on the night of July 10, 2009, he watched a movie with his girlfriend at the Century Theaters in the Great Mall. Mario claimed that upon departing the movie theater, he could not locate his Mustang and realized that he may have left the keys inside the vehicle.
On July 17, 2009, the Urban Organized Auto Fraud Task Force began investigating the claim for possible insurance fraud. The investigation revealed that on the night of July 10, Mario was driving his 2003 Mustang Cobra on Sierra Road when he allegedly crashed into a cement barrier. Mario then contacted his father who responded to the crash scene, picked up his son and drove him to the Great Mall in Milpitas to report the car stolen and file a subsequent fraudulent automobile insurance claim.
The Urban Organized Automobile Fraud Insurance Task Force is comprised of investigators from the CDI, California Highway Patrol, and Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
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