Wednesday, 20 June 2012 08:52

Two Calf. Shop Owners: One Arrested, One Sentenced for Fraud

The Amador County District Attorneys Office, in conjunction with the Calaveras County District Attorneys Office,  obtained a “no contest” plea to a single count of insurance fraud from a body shop owner in Valley Springs, CA, as a result of an investigation.

Larry Robbins, owner of Franks Frame and Body Shop, was sentenced to 36 months felony probation, 60 hours of community service, ordered to surrender his Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) license and pay approximately $28,000 in restitution.

The investigation involved post repair inspections of vehicles repaired by Robbin’s shop, Franks Frame and Body Shop, 127 Main Street, Valley Springs, California. Farmers Insurance, SIU Major Operations Unit, conducted post repair inspections on Farmers insured vehicles and supplied the inspection documentation to the Amador County District Attorneys Office and California Bureau of Automotive Repair for investigation. In 2011, The California Attorney General, on behalf of the Bureau of Automotive Repair, filed formal accusations, alleging; fraud, misleading statements and departure from accepted trade standards.

“This case illustrates the cost of fraud for Auto Repair shops and owners. The shop owner has been ordered to surrender his BAR license and pay significant restitution,” stated Sean Zavala, Farmers Director of Special Investigations. “We will assist law enforcement on criminal matters and file our own civil actions when appropriate to deter anyone who submits false insurance claim.  It is our commitment to our policyholders to protect their premium dollars,” Zavala added.

In a separate case, Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol Insurance Fraud Task Force served Santa Clara shop owner Dong Suk Choi with an arrest warrant on one felony count of Insurance Fraud.

The investigation involved the re-inspection of one vehicle previously repaired by Choi’s repair shop, Choice Auto Body at 1975 Lafayette Street in Santa Clara, California. The re-inspection was conducted by Farmers Insurance, Major Operations Unit in cooperation with an Investigator from the California Highway Patrol Insurance Fraud Task Force, Golden Gate Division ISU. The Investigators found that Choi had not completed the repairs according to the agreed upon estimates including the repair of items that were written to be replaced in the insurance estimates.

Farmers says it applauds the efforts of the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Offices and  the Amador and Calaveras County District Attorneys Offices and the California, Bureau of Automotive Repair for their ongoing efforts in the fight against insurance fraud.