Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Arrest of Key Figure in Organized Auto Insurance Fraud Ring
News: 2012 Press Release
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Teddy Marks, 41, of Morgan Hill has been arrested on two felony counts of insurance fraud and one felony count of grand theft. Bail has been set at $1,000,000. If convicted, Marks could face up to five years in prison and/or $50,000 in fines for each insurance fraud count, and up to three years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine for the grand theft count.
"This organized automobile insurance fraud ring has been put out of business," said Commissioner Jones. "I commend the excellent efforts and many hundreds of hours spent investigating by the members of the Urban Organized Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force."
A second suspect is outstanding and believed to be in the State of New Jersey. Louis Miller aka "Skippy" also has a $1,000,000 arrest warrant issued by the Santa Clara County District Attorney. Miller has been charged with two felony counts of insurance fraud, three felony counts of burglary, and four felony counts of grand theft. Marks and Miller are believed to be the patriarchs of a criminal family that specializes in auto insurance fraud. Marks's son, Thomas Marks, and son-in-law, Eric Yonko, along with Miller's son, Alex Miller and daughter-in-law Danielle Miller were arrested for similar charges last year arising from cases investigated by the Urban Organized Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force. Two additional subjects, Red Hawk aka Randy George and Monica Ristick aka Angelina Eli are also still outstanding.
"In real car crashes, people are often tragically hurt. In these fake accidents it is the residents of California who are being injured,'' Deputy District Attorney Charlotte Chang, who prosecuted these cases, said. "Insurance fraud directly affects each of us-the costs to the insurance companies are passed along to consumers through higher insurance premiums."
An investigation conducted by the Urban Organized Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force revealed that Marks, in collusion with his accomplice, Miller, conducted a staged auto versus pedestrian collision in the parking lot of Artichoke Joe's Casino in San Bruno. During the claims process Marks and Miller denied knowing each other. After the collision, Marks, the driver and Miller, the pedestrian, then proceeded to defraud the insurance carrier and three different hospitals in excess of $200,000.
At the time of his arrest Marks was in possession of two identification cards that identified him as a Bail Enforcement Agent and Fugitive Recovery Agent. Marks was not licensed in California to act or conduct business as either. Marks was also in possession of a business card that identified him as a "Consulting Special Agent" for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). There has been no information verifying Marks's authority to act as a federal agent.
The Urban Organized Automobile Fraud Insurance Task Force is comprised of investigators from the California Department of Insurance (CDI), California Highway Patrol, and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.
This case is being prosecuted by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. Additional assistance was provided by the Special Investigations Unit from the California State Automobile Association and the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Alex Miller, Danielle Miller, Thomas Marks and Eric Yonko have all been convicted. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and CDI are asking for the public's help in locating the outstanding suspects and also if there have been contacts with any of the above named subjects as well as any information regarding the fictitious Bail Agent ID cards and FBI business card. If you have information please contact D.A. Investigator Dale Morgan at (408) 201-8808.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $288 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $394 million in claims and premiums. 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 or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.