Monday, June 9, 2008

California Man Arrested in Auto Fraud Scheme

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that Binh Kim Hoang, 27, of San Jose, was arrested at his residence in connection with intentionally crashing his Mazda into another vehicle and then filing false police reports and insurance claims by asserting the incident was an accident.

On March 15, 2008, at approximately 1:45 a.m., Hoang intentionally used his Mazda to collide with the victim's Lexus on US 101 northbound, just north of Great America Parkway, according to authorities. Hoang admitted he intentionally collided with the Lexus. Hoang was upset that a woman he was fond of was traveling in the Lexus. The impact between the Mazda and the Lexus caused injuries to both the driver and the aforementioned woman, a passenger in the Lexus. By deliberately driving the Mazda into the Lexus, Hoang committed an assault upon a person with a deadly weapon or force by which means of force was likely to produce great bodily injury.

After the assault with a deadly weapon was committed, Hoang reportedly filed a false report to Farmers Insurance on March 31, 2008. Hoang informed Farmers that the collision between the Mazda and Lexus was a result of an accident. He claimed to have hit something in the road, causing him to lose control of the Mazda. Hoang also stated he did not know the occupants of the Lexus. By filing the false claim, Hoang knowingly presented a false claim and included false and misleading information concerning material facts.

Hoang also reportedly provided false and misleading information to the investigating agency, the California Highway Patrol. Hoang mislead the original investigating officer to believe that the collision between the Mazda and the Lexus was a traffic accident. Hoang provided false statements similar to the report he filed with Farmers Insurance and during an April interview with Department of Insurance investigators.

He voluntarily admitted that approximately two months prior to the assault with a deadly weapon, Hoang had gotten into a physical altercation with the same driver of the Lexus. During the altercation, Hoang retrieved something out of his trunk and broke four windows out of the Lexus. By breaking out these windows, he committed an act of vandalism and Hoang maliciously damaged the Lexus.

An investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance Fraud Division resulted in the arrest of Hoang on automobile insurance fraud related charges, assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and providing false information to a peace officer.

If convicted, Hoang could face up to five years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines for insurance fraud, four years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines for the assault with a deadly weapon, and one year in prison and/or $10,000.00 in fines for vandalism.

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