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CA Department of Insurance

Broken ATV and false insurance claim lead to arrest of Mendota man

News: 2014 Press Release

For Release: September 24, 2014
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Broken ATV and false insurance claim lead to arrest of Mendota man

FRESNO, Calif. - Today Robert Mejia, 32, of Mendota, was arrested for attempting to defraud his insurance company by filing a false claim when his ATV was allegedly stolen. Mejia faces three felony counts for insurance fraud and one misdemeanor charge for filing a false police report. If convicted Mejia could face five years in state prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

"Insurance fraud affects California consumers when policyholders are forced to pay higher premiums to offset the cost of fraud," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Unfortunately some individuals deceive their insurer, thinking it's an easy payday. What they fail to realize is when they get caught, they end up paying a much higher price for their crime."

In December of 2013, Mejia reported to his insurance company that his ATV was stolen but had been recovered. Mejia did not contact the Mendota Police Department to report the theft and recovery until requested to do so by his insurance company several days after the alleged theft. According to Mejia's claim, a friend discovered the ATV stripped and abandoned. Mejia's claim how the theft occurred was contradicted by statements and evidence department investigators obtained during the investigation.

In an attempt to validate his story, Mejia allegedly submitted false records to his insurance company. The records were proven false after department received the actual records which contradicted Mejia's story. An inspection of Mejia's ATV revealed that the ignition had not been tampered with and that it had major mechanical issues, which is a common motive for fraud.

Mejia was booked by the Mendota Police Department and his case is being prosecuted by the Fresno County District Attorney's Office.

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Media Notes:

  • Booking photo available on the CDI Flickr page.
  • Robert Mejia was arrested by the Mendota Police Department;the Department of Insurance assisted as the investigative agents for the case.
  • Violations include: PC 550(a)(1), PC 548(a), PC 550(a)(5), PC 148.5(a).

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 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 $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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