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Martha Rosa Olivera of Ceres, California, was advised by the DEA that her vehicle was being seized as a result of a clandestine methamphetamine lab investigation. So what does Olivera do? She calls her auto insurer, California State Automobile Association, and files a stolen car claim. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
And from our SIU buddy, Norm Parker, comes this story: In July 1997, our insured, Mr. B., was away from his home, visiting family in Los Angeles, when someone broke into his home. When he discovered the loss, he called the police and reported a burglary. Our insured told the police that this did not appear to be a very big loss. After the claim was reported to the claims department, our property adjuster sent out an independent adjuster to inspect the property and take a recorded statement of the insured. The adjuster was told by the insured that the loss was somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000. One week later the insured called our adjuster and asked what his policy limits were. Our adjuster told the insured that his limits were $150,000. A week later we received the Contents Form (CVRs). The amount claimed for the loss was $180,000. SIU was given the file because the insured had been paid $107,000 for a prior claim. After a lengthy and extensive investigation, which included the insured’s 4-1/2 day Examination Under Oath, the claim was denied. It seemed that the insured had bought over $25,000 worth of items and returned them shortly after purchase. The insured kept the original receipts and submitted those receipts to CSE as proof of ownership. During his EUO, the insured was asked several times if he ever returned any of the items being claimed on his CVRs. His response the last time he was asked that question was, No, that would be insurance fraud. The denial was issued in the summer of 1998. The case was presented to the DA in the county where Mr. B. resides. After their six-month investigation, a complaint was filed in January 2000 charging Mr. B. with three counts of insurance fraud and two counts of perjury. He’ll be arraigned in March in Superior Court.
Trouble in paradise is no excuse. Tina Anne Musso, aka Tina Triano, a Morgan Hill real estate and mortgage broker, called the police to tell them someone had broken into her home and stolen the dishwasher, the refrigerator, built-in stove, built-in range, microwave oven and a projection television and motorized screen. She told the police she suspected her ex-husband took the goodies. Then she called Farmers to file a claim, but she forgot to mention said ex-husband in that report. She also didn’t bother to tell her insurer that whoever burglarized the home had also taken the time to CHANGE THE LOCKS. Farmers, in the meantime, paid $9,450 to Musso and her ex (joint tenants and all that stuff). Musso allegedly signed both of their names on the check and cashed it. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
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