News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: May 18, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces Three Suspects Arrested in Connection with Two Fresno Auto Fraud Cases
Commissioner Steve Poizner announced today that three Fresno individuals were charged with felony insurance fraud in two separate criminal cases. Harjinder Singh, 46, was arrested May 6. Singh was additionally charged with felony arson and perjury.
In a separate case, Karmjit Mann, 33, was arrested on May 11; and Nirmaljeet Singh, Karmjit's husband, self-surrendered to authorities on May 7. Nirmaljeet Singh was additionally charged with falsely reporting a crime.
"Flagrantly disregarding the law is the worst way to try and make a buck," said Commissioner Poizner. "Our enforcement officers are far too good at their jobs to let insurance fraud go undetected. If you commit insurance fraud, you will go to jail."
On March 24, 2007, Harjinder Singh reported that his big rig caught fire while he was driving along I-40. Singh then filed a claim with his insurance carrier, reporting the loss. The Urban Organized Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force later discovered that the fires which burned the vehicle were intentionally set. Investigators allege that Singh purposely set fire to his vehicle in an attempt to receive a $35,000 payout from his insurance company.
On September 9, 2008, Nirmaljeet Singh reported the theft of his big rig to the Fresno Police Department. Task force detectives discovered that the big rig was never parked at the reported theft location. Singh's wife, Karmjit Mann, allegedly provided false supporting statements indicating that she had picked up her husband from the reported theft location. The two allegedly attempted to defraud their insurance company of approximately $40,000.
The Fresno County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting these cases.
The Urban Organized Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force is comprised of investigators from the California Department of Insurance and the Fresno County District Attorney's Office. The task force targets any form of auto insurance fraud, including staged theft and vandalism, staged auto accidents and other types of organized insurance fraud.
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Close to 1900 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by the Department of Insurance's Enforcement Branch since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other two year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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