News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: June 16, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces Santa Cruz Man Arrested for Alleged Auto Insurance Fraud
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced today the arrest of a Santa Cruz man in connection with automobile insurance fraud after he allegedly filed a false insurance claim and made a false statement in support of an insurance claim. Samuel Tanner, 26, of Santa Cruz, self-surrendered on May 25. He was arraigned on June 15.
"Committing insurance fraud in an attempt to avoid trouble is a terrible idea," said Commissioner Poizner. "Breaking the law will only result in a trip to jail, fines and legal fees."
A California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation revealed that on September 23, 2009, Tanner was allegedly involved in an automobile accident in which he rear-ended another vehicle. Tanner purchased an insurance policy for his 2001 Ford Ranger from GEICO on the same day the accident occurred, and reported that the accident occurred within minutes of purchasing the insurance policy. According to CDI detectives, Tanner purchased his policy after the accident occurred. He allegedly reported that the accident occurred at a later time so that it would be covered by the insurance company. The potential loss for GEICO was $5,000.
GEICO grew suspicious of Tanner's claim when it was placed on the same day his coverage was secured. Upon receiving a complaint from GEICO, the company notified the Department of Insurance, which launched an investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by the Santa Cruz 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.
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