Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28 -- The California Department of Insurance issued the following news release:
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) announced today that eight suspects were arrested on felony charges alleging fraudulent insurance claims, allegedly staging two automobile accidents and fraudulent vehicle vandalism. If convicted on all charges, the suspects face up to five years in prison and fines up to $50,000 each.
The suspects, Suren Grigorian, 45; Aida Akopian, 36; Seda Markarian, 62; Mamikon Hakobyan, 74; Masis Galstan, 49; Rosa Galstyan, 42; Roza Issayan, 41; and Setik Patatanian, 49, are all from the Burbank/Glendale area.
According to CDI investigators, the department received a tip from an informant in December 2010 alleging that Grigorian filed a fraudulent insurance claim stemming from his report of vandalism to a 2007 Mercedes sedan parked in the garage of his Burbank residence. The informant alleged that Grigorian was responsible for damaging the vehicle. The insurer paid approximately $20,000 to settle the damages claim.
Further investigation into the alleged fraud revealed the suspects, all family members and close associates of Grigorian, were also allegedly involved in two suspected staged collisions in 2008. In that case, multiple insurers paid out over $62,000 to settle damage claims.
The cases against all eight are being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Auto Insurance Fraud Division.
TNS 23SQ 130129-4182659 StaffFurigay