Four employees of Contra Costa County auto shops, including one in Richmond, were arrested following an undercover operation targeting auto repair insurance fraud.
Marco Hernandez, 48, an employee of 101 Auto Body at 5327 Jacuzzi St. in Richmond, is among those busted in the operation conducted by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Insurance.
“An undercover officer visited several auto body repair shops in Contra Costa County and told estimators that they wanted to claim and repair pre-existing damage on a new insurance policy…,” the DA’s Office said. “The officer requested a repair estimate from the shop to assist with the false insurance claim.”
Hernandez and three other defendants are accused of accepting business “with knowledge or reckless disregard for the fact that a customer intends to commit insurance fraud,” according to the DA. The felony charge is punishable by up to three years in prison and an additional fine of up to $50,000.
Kyle Coburn, 30, of AW Collision in Concord, Estephanie Gonzalez-Marquez, 26, of Tepa Autobody in Pittsburg; and Vu Hoang 33, of Kee’s Auto Body in Concord, have also been charged in the sting, the DA’s office said.
“The District Attorney’s Office also reminds consumers to be wary of listening to anyone who suggests lying to an insurance company related to an insurance claim,” the DA’s Office said. “Providing false or misleading information in support of an insurance claim is a felony punishable by up to five years state prison and an additional fine of up to $50,000.”
Anyone with information about possible auto insurance fraud can report that information to the District Attorney’s Office via email at [email protected].