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CA Department of Insurance

Bikes, burglaries and bogus claims

News: 2015 Press Release

For Release: April 24, 2015
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Bikes, burglaries and bogus claims
San Joaquin County resident arrested for felony insurance fraud

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Peter Goncalves, 41, of Escalon, was arrested today by Department of Insurance detectives on three felony counts of insurance fraud and was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail. Goncalves allegedly filed a fraudulent insurance claim with Farmers Insurance Exchange for more than $18,000 for items he claimed were stolen during a burglary.

Goncalves reported to Farmers that his home was burglarized in June 2014 and several items were stolen, including a high-end mountain bike and gear. The investigation revealed the receipts Goncalves submitted to prove he purchased the bike and equipment were for businesses that did not exist. 

"This case is a reminder that fraud is a costly crime for insurers and consumers," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "These crimes are an expensive drain on the state's economy totaling billions annually."

Earlier in the year, Goncalves also filed two claims with CSAA prior to his claim with Farmers. Evidence revealed and Goncalves admitted to detectives that he created one receipt for close to $10,000 of merchandise in the CSAA claim and also falsified the $18,000 receipt provided to Farmers. In the two CSAA claims, the insurer paid Goncalves more than $18,000 for the alleged stolen items. The fraud was discovered in the Farmers claim before the insurer paid.

Goncalves' bail is set at $30,000. This case is being prosecuted by San Joaquin District Attorney's Office. 

Media Notes:

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 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 web site at 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.

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