A San Bruno, Calif., man has been arraigned for allegedly fraudulently reporting to his insurance company a collision that occurred before coverage was added to his vehicle, a scheme also known as “crash and buy,” the California Department of Insurance announced. Jason Bato, 36, was arraigned on three felony counts of insurance fraud.
The DOI said Farmers Insurance suspected fraud and reported it to the Department on July 24, 2009. Following receipt of the referral, CDI immediately launched an investigation. Investigators discovered that on June 22, 2009, at approximately 12: 55 p.m., Bato was involved in a two-car accident in San Francisco. Bato allegedly did not have a valid insurance policy at the time of the accident. He allegedly provided the driver of the second vehicle information to an old policy that was no longer valid.
On June 22 at approximately 1:37 p.m., Bato purchased an insurance policy from Farmers Insurance. He later provided the new insurance policy information to the driver of the other vehicle. The accident was reported to Farmers on June 29. During the company’s investigation of the claim, Bato allegedly provided false statements that the accident occurred after her purchased the policy. On July 23, he admitted to Farmers that he purchased the policy immediately after the accident. After concluding its investigation, Farmers determined Bato’s policy was not in effect at the time of the accident and subsequently denied his claim.
On April 8, 2010, CDI detectives obtained a statement from Bato in which he admitted to purchasing his policy after the accident and to providing false statements to Farmers on several occasions.
Although Farmers denied Bato’s claim, the insurer incurred $718 in investigative costs due to misrepresentations allegedly made by Bato.
The case is being prosecuted by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.
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