News: 2012 Press Release
For Release: June 8, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Arrest Of Suspects In Staged Auto Theft, Title Fraud Ring
Central Valley Residents Allegedly Defrauded Insurer, Washed Auto Titles
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Dmitriy Kochkin, 36, Yuliya Kochkina, 33, and Aleksandr Boklach, 29, have been arrested on felony charges related to loan fraud, a staged auto theft, title washing, perjury, and insurance fraud. A fourth suspect, Leonid Dubinskiy, 45, was cited for his involvement.
According to detectives from the Urban Organized Auto Insurance Fraud Taskforce, on May 25, 2009 Kochkin reported to the Fresno Police Department that his 2002 Mercedes had been stolen from his Fresno apartment sometime between the evening of May 22, 2009 and the morning of May 25, 2009. On this same date, he made a claim to his insurance company for the theft of the vehicle. Kochkin's wife, Kochkina, gave a recorded statement to the insurance company confirming the facts of loss as stated by Dmitriy. On May 24, 2009 the vehicle was recovered at the Mendota Wildlife Area and was completely stripped.
During the initial investigation this vehicle was also found to have a salvaged title from the State of Florida, however, it had a clear title in California. In the course of the investigation it was found that the vehicle was purchased through an online auction, entered California as a lien sale and was issued a clear title by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The lien sale was later determined to be fraudulent. A straw buyer, Boklach, then purchased the vehicle and sold it to Kochkin for significantly more than it was worth. Kochkin then obtained a loan through Union Bank of California for an inflated value, as if the vehicle had a clear title. The investigation revealed that he had knowledge of the salvaged title and that he had used Boklach as a straw buyer for the purpose of inflating the vehicle's value. The insurance claim was subsequently withdrawn by Kochkin and his wife and the vehicle was later repossessed.
Detectives also determined that Kochkin and Dubinskiy were involved in the title washing of two additional out of state vehicles, a 2003 Mitsubishi Montero and a 2007 Honda Civic, both with salvaged titles, that were later issued clear titles in California through this fraudulent lien sale process.
The Fresno County District Attorney's Office has charged Dmitriy Kochkin with felony counts for violating Penal Code Sections 550(a)(1), Insurance Fraud, 532(a), Loan Fraud, 118(a), Perjury, and one count for violating Vehicle Code Section 4463(a), Title Fraud. Yuliya Kochkina has been charged with one felony count for violating Penal Code Section 550(a) (1). Boklach has been charged with one felony count for violating Penal Code Section 532(a), and Dubinskiy has been charged with one felony count for violating Penal Code Section 118(a). If convicted, all suspects could be sentenced to between three and five years in State Prison and fined by the court.
The Fresno County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting this case. The Special Investigations Unit from California State Automobile Association (CSAA) assisted in the investigation by providing claim information to CDI Fraud Division Detectives.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 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.