Auto Body Business Owner Convicted of Insurance Fraud
Media Contact: Darren Ellingson Deputy Director (602) 364-3471
For Immediate Release June 19, 2014
On June 13, 2014, the Maricopa County Superior Court found Michael Griesa, owner of 1stClass Collision, LLC, guilty of Forgery, a Class 4 Felony, and Insurance Fraud, a Class 6 Felony. The Court sentenced Griesa to 1 year of probation, fined him $813.00 in probationary and court costs and ordered him to pay $1,910.00 in restitution.
Former employees of 1st Class Collision contacted Progressive Insurance complaining that, from about October, 2010 to April, 2012, Griesa was directing employees to cause additional damage to vehicles coming into the shop so he could file higher claims with insurers. As a result, Progressive Insurance made a fraud referral with the Arizona Department of Insurance Fraud Unit who conducted an undercover investigation at the business. One of the former employees was also able to produce before and after photographs of vehicles showing damage done to the vehicles in 1stClass Collision’s possession. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case.
Consumers who suspect insurance fraud are encouraged to call the Fraud Unit of the Arizona Department of Insurance at (602) 364-2140.
About the Arizona Department of Insurance
The Arizona Department of Insurance, an agency of the State of Arizona, is responsible for the education and protection of insurance consumers and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
We are aware of a phishing scam targeting insurance professionals claiming that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners received a complaint that the professional submitted a falsified claim. This fraudulent email displays the NAIC and CIPR logos, can originate from what appears to be an naic.org or gmail.com email account, and instructs the recipient to click on a link to download the complaint notification.
Certain antivirus products will detect this as a malicious email. If you receive a similar email and have any concerns, contact the NAIC Service Desk at (816) 783-8500 or [email protected].