News: 2012 Press Release
For Release: October 15, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces $1 Million In Grant Funds To Combat Insurance Fraud In Ventura County
Grants for Investigation, Prosecution of Workers� Compensation; Automobile Fraud
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, joined by Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten, today announced $1 million in grants to the Ventura District Attorney's Office to fight workers' compensation and automobile insurance fraud. These funds will assist the Ventura County District Attorney with the investigation and prosecution of fraud.
"I am pleased today to announce $1 million in grants to the Ventura District Attorney to fight workers' compensation and auto insurance fraud," said Commissioner Jones. "Workers' compensation insurance fraud drives up the cost of workers' compensation insurance and hurts honest businesses and our economy. Auto Insurance Fraud drives up the price of auto insurance for consumers."
District Attorney Totten stated, "This office continues to aggressively prosecute this very costly form of fraud. The conduct of these criminals creates a financial burden that is ultimately paid by individual citizens as businesses pass these costs on to the consumer in the form of higher prices for goods and services."
One of the top priorities of Insurance Commissioner Jones is to fight insurance fraud. The California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigates insurance fraud and then works with the District Attorney of each County, who prosecutes the fraud. The Insurance Commissioner awards anti-fraud grants to assist the DA's to prosecute these types of fraud.
Ventura County was awarded two grants to combat fraud in 2013:
- $729,984 to combat Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud
- $345,955 to combat Automobile Insurance Fraud
Grant funds were used most recently in Ventura County during a large scale multi-agency investigation CDI participated in that focused on automobile thefts. Dubbed "Operation Sudden Impact," the operation was initiated in 2009 by the Ventura County Auto Theft Task Force. The operation netted more than 92 stolen vehicles with an approximate value of over $900,000. In all, 87 suspects were arrested on charges ranging from possession of stolen vehicles to federal charges of counterfeiting, weapons and drug possession. The operation spanned three years and the case was successfully closed in July of 2012.
"That is why we are here today&to make sure these types of heroic efforts receive the continuing support they need to be successful," Jones said.
CDI announced the 2013 Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud Grants in a press release in June.
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.