Silicon Valley man arraigned for alleged auto insurance fraud and forgery
News: 2021 Press Release
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Steven Gargiulo, 30, of San Jose, was arraigned yesterday on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and forgery after allegedly providing an altered auto repair receipt and bank statement to his insurance company in an attempt to receive an inflated insurance payout.
On June 12, 2020, Gargiulo reported to his insurance company that in February 2020 his 2017 BMW 650i had been hit and damaged while parked and unattended. Gargiulo took his vehicle to a body shop in Santa Clara where he was initially given a repair estimate of $2,237. However, Gargiulo said he would pay primarily in cash and out-of-pocket, which brought his repair estimate down to $1,200.
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance revealed Gargiulo submitted an estimate to his insurance company claiming he paid $2,237 for the repairs to his vehicle. Due to concerns about the receipt Gargiulo provided, the insurance company contacted the body shop.
The body shop provided a copy of the estimate which indicated that the total cost of repairs would be $2,237, but the shop owner had written $1,200 on the estimate to honor the cash out-of-pocket payment discount. The shop owner provided documentation indicating Gargiulo’s credit card was charged $155, which included a credit card fee, and the remaining $1,050 was paid in cash.
Gargiulo also provided his insurance company a copy of his credit card receipt and a bank statement, both which appeared to have been altered to indicate that he was charged $2,237. The Department’s investigation prevented a potential loss to the insurance company.
Gargiulo self-surrendered at the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office on February 1, 2021. This case is being prosecuted by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
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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.