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News: 2013 Press Release
For Release: October 31, 2013
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announces Brookdale Lodge owner’s conviction of insurance premium fraud
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Brookdale Lodge owner, Sanjiv Kakkar, 52, was sentenced to 364 days in jail and three years probation after pleading no contest for two felony counts including insurance premium fraud and failing to maintain workers' compensation insurance. Kakkar paid restitution of over $52,000 toward unpaid insurance premiums.
"Detectives from my department along with investigators and the prosecutors from the Santa Cruz District Attorney's Office worked together to bring Kakkar to justice," Commissioner Jones said. "Their tireless efforts have stopped him from ripping off insurers and leaving employees at risk."
Over the course of four years, in a joint effort with the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office and multiple agencies, the California Department of Insurance discovered unreported employee payroll totaling an insurance premium loss of over $52,000 as well as underreported workers' compensation policy premiums. The investigation began with a complaint from an employee reporting his medical bills associated with work related injuries were unpaid.
Assistant District Attorney Kelly Walker who prosecuted the case stated that these prosecutions are extremely important to our community. "We see too often employees put at extreme risk doing difficult labor with no recourse if they are hurt," said Walker.
According to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office, an investigation by the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District uncovered multiple health and safety code violations for air-borne asbestos resulting in an additional $10,000 fine.
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Just days before a Valentine's Day banquet for seniors was held, air-borne asbestos was reported to be present in the Brookdale dining room. The Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District issued multiple violations and Kakkar was ordered not to have the banquet, the order was ignored and two tour busses of seniors attended the Valentine's Day event.
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.