Son of Bakersfield motel owners sentenced in felony insurance fraud scheme
News: 2021 Press Release
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Kirankumar “Ken” Patel, 53, was sentenced today in Kern County Superior Court after pleading no contest to five felony counts of accessory to a crime. Patel filed a fraudulent insurance claim on behalf of his family who owned a motel in order to earn the business an undeserved insurance payout.
Patel was sentenced to two years felony probation and six months of jail time to be served through an electronic monitoring program. He was also required to pay $25,500 in fines and agreed to make a $50,000 donation to the Bakersfield Homeless Center.
On September 4, 2018, Patel filed a commercial property claim on behalf of his family. Patel reported to the insurance company that a motel guest broke the fire protection system, resulting in a sprinkler turning on and causing damage to several rooms and hallways.
The Department of Insurance launched an investigation after the insurance company suspected fraud. Patel submitted invoices and estimates totaling $50,325. The insurance company paid $37,570 to the motel owner. Upon contacting the vendors, investigators discovered the invoices and estimates were not legitimate or were altered. One vendor denied producing an estimate which was provided in the claim and another vendor stated an estimate was provided, but no sales were made.
Patel pleaded no contest on April 23, 2021, and was charged on November 19, 2020. The Kern County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case.
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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.