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CA Department of Insurance

Santa Clarita contractor arraigned for 21 felony counts of forgery, theft, and fraud

News: 2022 Press Release

For Release: April 8, 2022
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Santa Clarita contractor arraigned for 21 felony counts of forgery, theft, and fraud
Suspect allegedly used fraudulent certificates to secure jobs and underreported payroll

LOS ANGELES — Adan Deniz, 43, a contractor from Santa Clarita, was arraigned today on 21 felony counts of forgery, theft by false pretense, and workers’ compensation insurance fraud after allegedly creating fraudulent certificates to secure jobs and underreporting payroll by over $425,000 to save thousands on insurance premiums.

“This contractor created an unfair advantage for himself when he allegedly created fraudulent certificates to secure contracts. This work could have gone to other businesses who follow the rules. Instead he put the clients that trusted him at risk,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “My Department is committed to investigating insurance fraud to protect Californians and level the playing field for hardworking business owners who are the engine of our continued economic recovery.”

The California Department of Insurance began an investigation after a licensed insurance agent reported they had received a copy of a fraudulent certificate of insurance, which had been issued in the agent’s name, and contained a forgery of his signature.  

The investigation revealed that Deniz created the alleged fraudulent certificate and nine other fraudulent certificates of insurance between May of 2018 and July of 2020. Each of the fraudulent certificates contained false information about insurance coverage, as well as a forged signature from a licensed insurance agent. Deniz submitted the fraudulent certificates to his clients and to government agencies, in order to convince them he had the required insurance coverage. These fraudulent certificates allowed Deniz to unfairly secure several lucrative plumbing jobs and government permits related to those jobs, which he would have otherwise been unable to secure.

While investigating the fraudulent certificates, Department investigators also discovered that Deniz underreported his company’s payroll from July of 2016 through July of 2019. A review found he allegedly underreported payroll by $426,750 in order to avoid paying $52,269 in insurance premiums to the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Healthcare Fraud Division. Deniz is scheduled to return to court on May 25, 2022.

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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 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.

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