BAKERSFIELD- On May 24, 2021, Kirankumar “Ken” Patel, 53, was sentenced in Kern County Superior Court after pleading no contest to five felony counts of accessory to a crime. Patel filed a fraudulent insurance claim on behalf of his family who owned a motel in order to earn the business an undeserved insurance payout.
Patel is sentenced to two years felony probation and six months of jail time to be served through an electronic monitoring program. He is also required to pay $25,500 in fines and agreed to make a $50,000 donation to the Bakersfield Homeless Center.
On September 4, 2018, Patel filed a commercial property claim on behalf of his family. Patel reported to the insurance company that a motel guest broke the fire protection system, resulting in a sprinkler turning on and causing damage to several rooms and hallways.
The California Department of Insurance launched an investigation after the insurance company suspected fraud. Patel submitted invoices and estimates totaling $50,325. The insurance company paid $37,570 to the motel owner. Upon contacting the vendors, investigators discovered the invoices and estimates were not legitimate or were altered. One vendor denied producing an estimate which was provided in the claim and another vendor stated an estimate was provided, but no sales were made.
“This is why insurance premiums and the cost of business becomes so high,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “People who commit insurance fraud hurt us all. Thank you to the California Department of Insurance investigators who thoroughly investigate these cases so that local district attorneys’ offices can follow through with successful prosecutions.”
Patel pleaded no contest on April 23, 2021, and was charged on November 19, 2020. The Kern County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case.