​For release on April 13, 2016

CONTACT:
Charlotte Chang, Deputy District Attorney
Insurance Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2974

  SJ INSURANCE FRAUD RING CHARGED WITH FAKING CAR CRASHES   The owner of a San Jose body shop, his common-law wife, and seven others have been charged with an insurance fraud scam in which they used older model luxury cars and a myriad of different names to fake accidents.
Investigators believe the defendants staged about 20 accidents from 2011 to 2015 and ripped off insurance companies for more than $140,000.
The Silicon Valley Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force operation was nicknamed “Kings Row.” It was named after the small San Jose street where Juan Ortiz Velazquez, 27, his common-law wife, Deisy Ramirez Robles, 27, and two other body shop owners, who have also been charged with committing insurance fraud in this case, operate their businesses.
The defendants, some whose arraignments will be held on May 10, 2016, at the South County Courthouse, face felony fraud charges and significant jail time, if convicted. Velazquez – who owns Carlos Body Shop on Kings Row – alone faces 26 counts. If convicted, Velazquez faces a maximum sentence of 31 years in prison.
Prosecutor Charlotte Chang said: “The defendants may have been fraudulently damaging their own cars, but all of us in California that have car insurance are damaged through rising rates caused by the millions of dollars lost to insurance fraud.”
In many cases, the defendants bought insurance policies on cars and then had “accidents” within days of the purchase. The “accidents” ranged from fictional hit and runs to fake crashes on Highway 17 and often involved such luxury models as Mercedes, BMWs, a Jaguar, and a Maserati. But an investigation showed that the claims were all leading back to the same defendants – often relatives or close acquaintances – and the same auto body shops on Kings Row.   In one case, a single insurance policy was obtained by Velazquez to fake three separate “accidents” on three separate cars. The insurance’s payout checks for those cars were all traced back to Robles, who faces 14 fraud counts. If convicted, Robles faces a maximum sentence of 19 years in prison.   # # #

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