Calif. brothers arrested for fraud
Two brothers in Woodland Hills, Calif., have been arrested and charged with felony insurance fraud, conspiracy and perjury. According to the California Department of Insurance, Masood D. Pymanee, 32, and Mahboob D. Pymanee, 30, were arrested and booked on $264,000 and $299,000 bail respectively at the Los Angeles County Police Department Valley Jail in Van Nuys, Calif.
In May 2007, CDI Fraud Division investigators received a tip that Masood was allegedly soliciting assistance in the disposal of his 2006 Mercedes Benz SL500. An undercover CDI investigator met with Masood, who allegedly informed him that he wanted to stage the theft of his vehicle to scam his insurance company out of an estimated $90,000. He allegedly voluntarily turned over his vehicle to the undercover investigator, who he believed would assist him with his scam, CDI said.
A few days after the “theft,” Masood reported that his vehicle stolen. Mahboob allegedly assisted his brother by providing a recorded statement to the insurance company that he saw his brother secure his Mercedes Benz at the location from which he claimed it was stolen.
The investigation also revealed that Masood allegedly submitted a fraudulent claim to another auto insurer for more than $6,000 in damages to his 2004 Honda Civic. He allegedly claimed his parked vehicle incurred damages in June 2006.
The damages to his vehicle were allegedly sustained in April 2006, but were not covered because the individual driving the vehicle was excluded on Pymanee’s insurance policy.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.
Mont. man gets 71 months in prison
Billings, Mont., businessman Michael W. Ryan has been sentenced to 71 months in prison and fined $100,000 for defrauding customers in a windshield replacement scheme.
Ryan, the former owner of Thrifty Car Rental in Billings, also was ordered to pay $55,128 in restitution to insurers and individuals who were victimized in the scheme.
A jury convicted Ryan in December on all 17 counts in an indictment. He was charged in May 2006 with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, two wire fraud counts and 14 mail fraud counts.
Ryan insists he did nothing wrong and said he will appeal the conviction.
Prosecutors said Ryan and co-defendants, Jeffrey R. Loney, Ryan’s former fleet manager, and Kevin J. Massick, owner of Fas-Break Windshield Repair, conspired to bilk car-rental customers for windshield replacements. Massick charged high prices for the replacements, deducted a wholesale price and split the difference with Ryan. Often, the windshields were never replaced or chips were repaired for only $25.
Ryan’s co-defendants pleaded guilty and testified against Ryan at trial. Loney was sentenced to four years of probation with six months of home confinement and was ordered to pay $27,564 restitution. Massick was sentenced to six months in prison, one month in custody, five months of home detention, and was ordered to pay $55,128 restitution.
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Suspects arrested for auto fraud
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Fraud Division and four state law enforcement groups has led to the arrest of multiple alleged auto insurance fraud perpetrators. Federico Quistian, 58, of Sunnyvale, Calif.; Roberto Garcia Morales, 21, of Gilroy, Calif.; Jorge Martinez, 27, of Hollister, Calif.; and Maria Lorensa Chavarria, 48, of Hollister, were arrested Aug. 15, 2007. Freddie Quistian Jr., 38, of Gilroy, was in custody for unrelated charges and was served his arrest warrant at the San Benito County Jail. An arrest warrant remains out for Hector A. Barragan Garcia, 25, of Hollister.
The arrests followed a two-year undercover operation conducted by the Santa Cruz County Auto Theft Reduction & Enforcement Task Force, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The investigation revealed that the suspects allegedly filed false auto insurance claims with Coast National Insurance Co. and Hudson Insurance Co., defrauding the companies of more than $20,000.
The case is being prosecuted by the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office.