On January 29th, 2013

Eight Handcuffed For Staging Car Wrecks

Thanks to a tip, followed by some intense investigative work by our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members who are investigators with the California Department of Insurance (CDI), eight Los Angeles area suspects were arrested on felony charges and now face prison time.

The charges allege fraudulent insurance claims, two staged automobile accidents and fraudulent vehicle vandalism.

According to a CDI press release, an informant contacted CDI in December 2010, with a tip alleging Suren Grigorian, 45, of Burbank, filed a fraudulent insurance claim involving reported vandalism to a 2007 Mercedes sedan parked in the garage of his Burbank residence. The informant alleged Grigorian was responsible for damaging the vehicle.  The claim was settled when the insurer paid approximately $20,000.

Investigators rolled up their sleeves, went to work and uncovered a whole lot more.   Not only was Grigorian arrested, so were seven other suspects, all relatives and associates of Grigorian.  It is alleged they were involved in two staged collisions in 2008 in which several insurers paid out more than $62,000 to settle damage claims.

Arrested were:   Suren Grigorian, 45

                             Aida Akopian, 36

                              Seda Markarian, 62

                              Mamikon Hakobyan, 74

                              Masis Galstan, 49

                              Rosa Galstyan, 42

                              Roza Issayan, 41

                              Setik Patatanian, 49

 All are from the Burbank/Glendale area and face up to five years in prison and fines up to $50,000.

"This is another shining example of the work CDI investigators do to root out fraud," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona.  "The amount of insurance fraud out there and the lengths suspects will go to commit that fraud never ceases to amaze me.  Thankfully we have dedicated investigators who work consistently and continuously to put a stop to it. "

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