News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: June 16, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces Bay Area Cousins Arrested for Suspected Auto Insurance Fraud
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced today the arrests of a Mountain View woman and a Hayward man for suspected auto insurance fraud. Lourdes Ramirez, 56, and her cousin, Christian Monteverde, 22, self surrendered and were booked at the Santa Clara County Jail on June 15, each on a $20,000 felony warrant for insurance fraud. If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines.
"Lying to your insurance company and to police is a sure way to get yourself into legal trouble, and possibly jail," said Commissioner Poizner. "Do not attempt to cheat the law or your insurance company - doing so will only get you into more trouble."
An investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance, Urban Organized Insurance Fraud Task Force, revealed that Ramirez allegedly obtained an insurance policy for a new motorcycle that was purchased in June of 2008. Monteverde reported the motorcycle stolen from his residence to Palo Alto police on January 13, 2009. Ramirez allegedly told the insurance company that she was the sole driver of the motorcycle. The investigation revealed that Monteverde was allegedly the sole driver.
An investigation by GEICO Insurance investigators revealed that Ramirez purchased the policy for Monteverde because it would have been too costly or impossible for Monteverde to qualify for a policy, based on his driving record and credit history. Ramirez allegedly made numerous false or fraudulent statements to GEICO insurance in support of an insurance claim. It is alleged that Monteverde knowingly conspired with Ramirez to make a fraudulent claim.
The Urban Organized Automobile Fraud Insurance Task Force is comprised of investigators from the CDI, California Highway Patrol and Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Nearly 2,800 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by CDI since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other three 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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