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Thursday, 05 April 2007 06:35

California DOI investigators break up auto insurance fraud ring

 California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner recently announced the arrest of two suspects in connection with staging automobile accidents in California and filing insurance claims for medical treatment they falsely claimed to have received in other countries.
 “I am committed to fighting fraud wherever we find it — even across the globe,” said Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. “Thanks to the initiative of our investigators and the help of Homeland Security, it didn’t matter that this investigation extended all the way to Sri Lanka.”
 According to investigators, Ron Ranasingh conspired with other named co-defendants in staging three vehicle accidents that occurred between February 2003 and September 2004. After each accident, Ranasingh and others submitted tens of thousands of dollars in false insurance claims. Agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tracked down addresses listed on fake bills submitted for chiropractor offices in Sri Lanka, New Delhi and Hong Kong to find they weren’t chiropractic offices at all.
 California Department of Insurance investigators say Ron Ranasingh (also known as Harsh Rana Singe) 38, of Ontario, Canada, was arrested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security while traveling through Miami from London. CDI requested Homeland Security’s assistance in tracking Ranasingh’s travels overseas, and in securing his arrest. Ranasingh was extradited to Santa Clara County on February 22, where he remains in custody. His bail hearing was on March 7.
 Jennifer Huynh, 52, of San Jose, was arrested on February 28, 2007 on one felony count of insurance fraud related to the case. She was booked at the Santa Clara County Jail. Two more suspects in the case are expected to be arrested within the next several weeks. Neil Forde, 41, of Hollis, NY, is expected to turn himself in for arrest. Negotiations are underway for the arrest of a fourth suspect.
 Ranasingh and the co-defendants were charged with multiple felony violations of Insurance Fraud, Grand Theft and Conspiracy.
 The false claims were first discovered by the California State Automobile Association (CSAA) Special Investigation Unit, which has cooperated with and assisted CDI throughout the lengthy investigation.