Two Davis residents arraigned in auto insurance fraud scheme
News: 2021 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Davis residents Aaron Curtin, 42, and Andres Castellanos, 27, were arraigned on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, conspiracy, and destroying property after allegedly filing a false claim to receive an undeserved insurance payout after torching a vehicle.
On April 20, 2019, Curtin reported his 2009 Audi A4 stolen and police subsequently recovered the incinerated vehicle. When Curtin filed an insurance claim, he told his insurance company he did not know who stole the vehicle, he did not loan the vehicle to anyone, and didn’t allow anyone to drive the vehicle. Curtin also claimed the vehicle was in good running condition prior to the alleged theft.
However, an investigation by the California Department of Insurance discovered Curtin’s vehicle had a blown engine prior to the alleged date of theft with estimated repair costs of more than $8,000. The vehicle had to be towed from the repair shop as Curtin didn’t have the engine repaired. Additionally, the registration for the vehicle was in peril due to multiple unpaid parking tickets and four bridge toll evasion citations totaling $558. Curtin still owes $8,059 to the financer of the vehicle.
During interviews with investigators, Curtin was evasive and told them he did not have his cell phone with him in an attempt to hide his cell phone’s location services. After his cell phone records and bank statements were requested, Curtin withdrew his claim.
Further investigation uncovered that Castellanos assisted Curtin in burning and dumping the vehicle. Their alleged fraud resulted in a $8,362 loss to Curtin’s insurance company.
Curtin and Castellanos were arraigned on December 28, 2020. They are scheduled to return to court on February 23, 2021. This case is being prosecuted by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.
Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.