Freedom area insurance agent arrested for auto insurance fraud
News: 2016 Press Release
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Donato Ramirez, 38, of Freedom, was arrested by California Department of Insurance detectives on two felony counts of auto insurance fraud after allegedly submitting fraudulent claims on behalf of his clients, resulting in a potential loss of $17,200.
"I have zero tolerance for agents or brokers that violate their fiduciary responsibility," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Licensed agents are in a position of trust and should be above reproach."
Detectives uncovered evidence that after two clients' auto insurance policies lapsed, Ramirez placed new policies after the clients reported their vehicles were vandalized and requested to file claims. Ramirez allegedly misrepresented to the insurance company the dates the policies were purchased and the dates the vehicles were damaged in order to file claims.
This case is being prosecuted by the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office. If convicted, Ramirez faces up to five years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
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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.