News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: December 30, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Two Arrests in Alleged Bay Area Auto Insurance Fraud Case
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced that Jenny Kouch, 27, of Milpitas and Peter Huynh, 43, of Fremont have been arrested on felony automobile insurance fraud charges. If convicted, Kouch and Huynh face as many as five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
"Falsifying facts to defraud an insurance company will only get you thrown in jail and increase premiums on the rest of us," said Commissioner Poizner. "This is not a victimless crime and we work hard to make that apparent to those who commit them."
Kouch surrendered at the Santa Clara County Jail on Christmas Day on a $15,000 felony warrant. Huynh was arrested Dec. 29 at his Fremont home and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on a $15,000 felony warrant.
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Urban Organized Insurance Fraud Task Force determined that on Feb. 3, 2009 a vehicle driven by Kouch struck a vehicle driven by Huynh's wife at approximately 2 p.m. in the parking lot of a Milpitas elementary school. Huynh arrived a short time later to exchange information with Kouch. After the collision, Kouch purchased automobile insurance from Esurance and allegedly conspired with Huynh to change the time of the accident so it would appear that she had insurance coverage.
Kouch made a material misrepresentation to Esurance when she filed an insurance claim on the accident involving Huynh's wife. Huynh made a material misrepresentation when he filed an insurance claim with MetLife Insurance on behalf of his wife. Both claims were denied based on the misrepresentation of the facts.
The investigation was completed by CDI's Urban Organized Automobile Fraud Insurance Task Force which is comprised of investigators from CDI, California Highway Patrol and Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.
Also providing assistance on the case was the Special Investigations Unit for Esurance and MetLife Insurance.
Commissioner Poizner oversees 16 CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Approximately 2,000 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by the Department of Insurance's enforcement division since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other two year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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