Fraudulent Auto Insurance Claimant and Conspirator Charged in California


Two California residents who were arrested for auto insurance fraud last month posted bail amounting to $25,000. With this at hand, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner emphasized the importance of having vehicles insured, and the trouble that uninsured motorists would have to face in case of an accident.

Fraudulent Auto Insurance Claimant and Conspirator Charged in CaliforniaMichael Gaudenzi, 45, and Robert Carter, 52, were both charged for allegedly falsifying the time of the auto accident. Both of them reside in San Jose, California. Investigators said that on April 10, 2009, Robert Carter, Jr., 19, was allowed to drive an uninsured vehicle owned by Gaudenzi when the car mishap occurred. After Carter, Jr. called his father, the older Carter arrived on the scene and towed the car back to Gaudenzi’s home. Gaudenzi then went online and opened a policy on the car on the same day the incident happened. It became effective the next day.

On April 12, Gaudenzi reported the mishap online and allegedly claimed a solo vehicle accident using the same streets where the April 10 incident took place. However, as the investigation moved on, it was Carter and his family who later admitted to the falsity of the claim. Carter, Sr. said that he was trying to protect his son that’s why he submitted to the plot. The California Department of Insurance (CID) Urban Auto Fraud Task Force then submitted charges for filing a fraudulent insurance claim against Gaudenzi and conspiracy charges against Carter.

According to Commissioner Poizner, people would not have the urge to commit fraud when an accident happens if only they had followed the law. California law mandates even a minimum amount of auto insurance. He added that such frauds are costing residents of the state millions of dollars annually.

Poizner supervises at least 16 CDI Enforcement regional offices within the state. Since 2007, there had been at least 2,000 insurance fraud-related arrests which had been made by the Department of Insurance’s enforcement Division.

To date, the state is implementing the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance (CLCA) whose aim is “to provide an affordable auto insurance option to low-income good drivers.” Because of the economic hardships, many drivers are uninsured because some standard insurance premiums are beyond their financial reach.

However, the CLCA is open only to drivers who meet the state’s financial responsibility laws. Also, the applicant must be 19 years old or older, had continuously been licensed for three years, and does not have more than one at-fault property damage only accident. No one point for a moving violation must have also been committed in the last three years. Aside from this, no misdemeanor convictions for a Vehicle Code violation, no felony or any at-fault accidents must have also been perpetrated.