NEWS RELEASE    FROM:  
George Kennedy, District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Stanley R. Voyles, Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2735   For release on February 17, 2006     SAN JOSE MAN TO FACE PRISON FOR BURNING HIS CAR IN ORDER TO DEFRAUD HIS INSURANCE COMPANY   Jose Antonio Mendoza, Jr. faces up to two years in state prison as a result of his plea Wednesday to an insurance fraud charge based on his burning his car to commit an insurance fraud.  He will also have to pay over $26,000 in restitution.    Mendoza and his father bought a 2000 Ford Expedition and agreed to pay $488 per month in loan payments.  In December of 2002 the vehicle was found deliberately burned off of Hecker Pass Road west of Gilroy.  Circumstantial evidence showed that Mendoza burned the car so that the insurance company would pay off the loan.   Deputy District Attorney Stan Voyles stated, "Anytime you find a car reported stolen and it is recovered deliberately burned in a remote location, there is a very high likelihood of insurance fraud.  Some people think that the insurance company will just pay off the claim with few questions asked.  In fact, both insurance companies and law enforcement consider such cases as suspected insurance fraud from the minute the vehicle is found."   # # #

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