News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: November 17, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Arrest of Sunnyvale Woman on Insurance Fraud Charges
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced that Paula Marie Pak, 31, of Sunnyvale was arrested Nov. 9, 2009 for allegedly filing a fraudulent insurance claim, which is a felony. She will be arraigned on Nov. 24 and could face as many as five years in jail and a $50,000 fine.
"Filing false insurance claims for personal financial gain will not be tolerated," said Commissioner Poizner. "These are the types of crimes that end up costing innocent people in the state millions of dollars in increased rates."
Pak's auto insurance policy with GEICO was cancelled in late 2008 for non-payment, GEICO representatives said. On Feb. 15, 2009, Pak called the company and had her policy reissued at 3:35 p.m. A day later, Pak called GEICO to report that she had rear-ended another vehicle at approximately 4 p.m. on Feb. 15. When GEICO spoke with the victim, the victim reported the collision occurred at 3:18 p.m., before Pak's policy was reinstated.
After a GEICO investigation, Pak admitted that she knowingly filed a fraudulent claim. GEICO then notified the Silicon Valley Regional Office of the California Department of Insurance (CDI), which launched its own investigation and filed formal charges with the Santa Clara County District Attorney.
Commissioner Poizner oversees 16 CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Approximately 1,900 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by the Department of Insurance's enforcement division since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other two year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.than have been made during any other two year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
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