Arizona defendants Sean Alexander, Terry Godfrey and Anthon Godfrey, in the auto glass services business as A&G Auto Glass and sued by GEICO in federal court for alleged fraudulent insurance claims, have pleaded their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
In their answer filed earlier in April in the case GEICO et al. v. A&G Auto Glass, Inc. et al., the three individual defendants assert their rights under the U.S. and Arizona constitutions, even though the action is a civil suit, arguing “the Fifth Amendment privilege does not only apply to criminal proceedings, but 'in any other proceeding, civil or criminal … where the answers might incriminate [the defendant] in future criminal proceedings.'”
Furthermore, since the business defendants, A&G Auto Glass, Inc. and Godfrey Companies, LLC d/b/a A&G Auto Glass, are solely owned or controlled by the three individuals who are exercising their Fifth Amendment rights, “each lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the specific allegations against them.”
As a result of the asserted lack of knowledge, the defendants’ answer has the effect of the denial of the allegations set forth in the lawsuit.
Alexander and Terry Godfrey are the sole shareholders of A&G Auto Glass Inc., and, with Anthon Godfrey, are the sole members of Godfrey Companies AZ, a limited liability corporation.
GEICO filed the $300,000 suit alleging A&G Auto Glass did not actually provide the claimed windshield replacement services or did not have the standing to file the insurance claims, seeking reimbursement plus treble damages as well as a declaration that it is not responsible for more than $10,000 in outstanding claims.
GEICO cited numerous instances where the defendants billed for services never performed or installed a much lower quality, and less expensive, windshield, and then generated separate invoices for the insured and GEICO.
GEICO’s suit represents a challenge to the windshield replacement insurance system in Arizona. GEICO has alleged it and other insurance companies are susceptible to fraud because...