News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: April 30, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces San Jose Father and Son Charged with Felony Insurance Fraud, Perjury
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced the arrests of a father and his son for alleged felony insurance fraud and perjury. Efrin Mario Garcia, 44, and his son, Mario Franklin Garcia, 21, both of San Jose, self-surrendered at the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office in San Jose. Mario Franklin Garcia was also charged with one misdemeanor count of hit and run. Bail was set at $15,000 each.
"Committing felony insurance fraud is the worst way to try to avoid trouble," said Commissioner Poizner. "Lying to police and to your insurance company is a crime and will only compound your problems."
On July 11, 2009 at approximately 1:20am, Mario Franklin Garcia reported to the Milpitas Police Department that his 2003 Mustang Cobra had been stolen from the parking lot of the Great Mall in Milpitas.
Garcia's vehicle was recovered by the CHP on July 11 at approximately 8:00am. CHP found that the vehicle had crashed into a concrete barrier on Sierra Road in San Jose and had been abandoned. The vehicle had extensive exterior damage. As a result of the alleged theft and subsequent crash of his vehicle, Mario Franklin Garcia, with assistance from his father Efrin Mario Garcia, filed an automobile insurance claim. Garcia's vehicle was valued at approximately $16,000 at the time the claim was filed.
During the claims process, Mario Franklin Garcia allegedly told his insurer that on the night of July 10, 2009, he watched a movie with his girlfriend at the Century Theaters in the Great Mall. He reported to his insurer that they arrived at the movie theater at approximately 10:30pm and departed at approximately 1:10am on July 11, 2009. Mario Franklin Garcia claimed that upon departing the movie theater, he could not locate his Mustang and realized that he may have left the keys inside the vehicle.
On July 17, 2009, the Urban Organized Auto Fraud Task Force began investigating the claim for possible insurance fraud. The investigation revealed that on the night of July 10, Mario Franklin Garcia was driving his 2003 Mustang Cobra on Sierra Road when he allegedly crashed into a cement barrier. Mario Franklin Garcia then contacted his father who responded to the crash scene, picked up his son and drove him to the Great Mall in Milpitas in order to report the car stolen and file a subsequent fraudulent automobile insurance claim.
The Urban Organized Automobile Fraud Insurance Task Force is comprised of investigators from the CDI, California Highway Patrol, and Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Nearly 2,800 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by CDI since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other three year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
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