Fifth Man Arrested in False Auto Claim Conspiracy

PHOENIX – A Phoenix man was arrested in the San Diego, Calif., area over the weekend for his suspected involvement in a conspiracy ring that filed false auto insurance claims.

Edgar Eduardo Renteria-Molina, 22, who was detained in a vehicle at the Pine Valley Border Patrol check point, was taken into custody when authorities discovered a warrant for his arrest from the Arizona Department of Insurance.

Renteria-Molina is the last of five major suspects involved in filing false auto insurance claims totaling nearly a quarter of a million dollars thus far. The ring was broken up by Arizona Department of Insurance Investigators who arrested two key members last month, prompting the others to flee.

Two arrests happed on Nov. 6th when authorities arrested Guillermo “Willie” Altamirano, 33, owner of Champion Auto Body in Phoenix, and Rigoberto Lara-Corral, 48, the suspected ringleader of the operation.

Lara-Corral was arrested on six counts ranging from conspiracy and participating in a criminal syndicate to forgery and identity theft. A third suspect, Samuel Romero Lugo, 23, of Phoenix was arrested Nov. 25th.

Another suspect, Juan Alejandro Villa, 25, was arrested in Phoenix on Sept. 24th for his participation in the ring. He was in jail on unrelated charges at the time of his arrest.

The five men are accused of conspiring to submit fraudulent auto insurance claims against several companies. Lara-Corral is accused of supplying vehicles, fraudulent Mexico drivers’ licenses, prepaid credit cards, prepaid cell phones and forged Arizona motor vehicle titles in furtherance of the fraud.  Lara-Corral, an undocumented Mexican National, is in the U.S. illegally awaiting a deportation hearing.

The investigation into the ring began in April, prompted by an anonymous tip regarding auto body shops. State Farm Insurance assisted in the investigation. Arizona Department of Insurance investigators say they are still planning to contact other subjects but believe the five men in custody were the major players in the conspiracy.

 

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

Insurers Offering Individual Health Insurance in Arizona

Lists insurance companies that are offering health insurance to individuals and families in Arizona in 2020.  Open enrollment starts November 1st and runs through December 15th, 2019.  Individuals can start shopping for coverage now at healthcare.gov or cuidadodesalud.gov (Spanish)

Health Insurance Telemarketers Annoy; Pose Fraud Risks

Phoenix, AZ—The Arizona Department of Insurance (ADOI) wants to make citizens aware of scams involving aggressive telemarketers attempting to sell health insurance plans and, in some cases, attempting to gain personal and financial information possibly for criminal purposes.

The ADOI has received complaints from people who received multiple phone calls, robocalls, and text messages claiming to be from the National Health Enrollment Center, the Healthcare Enrollment Center and from Healthcare.gov. Some people report that they were contacted multiple times a day, sometimes from different phone numbers, despite requests to be placed on the companies' do-not-call lists. Additionally, some people report having been asked to provide health insurance enrollment information, including such information as address, date of birth, social security number, and personal health information that, in the wrong hands, could be used in identity theft or other fraud schemes.

Arizona citizens who have received persistent phone calls or text messages from these or other callers attempting to sell them health insurance are encouraged to file a complaint with:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Arizona Department of Insurance Consumer Protection Division

  • Visit https://insurance.az.gov/consumers
  • Or call the ADOI’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 602-364-2499, or 1-800-325-2548 if calling within Arizona but outside Maricopa County.

We can all take steps to avoid becoming victims of fraud.

  • Never provide someone who calls you with your bank account number, your social security number, your credit card number, or your personal health information. If you are asked to provide this information, hang up.
  • Research the insurance agent and insurance company you are considering using by finding their license information through the ADOI’s License Search webpage (https://insurance.az.gov/license-search), and use contact information in the license record to contact them. Be skeptical and do research.
  • For information about insurance available from Health Insurance Marketplace, visit the Healthcare.gov website or call Healthcare.gov directly at 1-800-318-2596. The Arizona Department of Insurance is a state agency dedicated to protecting Arizona citizens and businesses by promoting a safe, strong, innovative and competitive insurance marketplace.

The Arizona Department of Insurance is a state agency dedicated to protecting Arizona citizens and businesses by promoting a safe, strong, innovative and competitive insurance marketplace.

FY 2020 INSURER ANNUAL ASSESSMENT INVOICES ARE AVAILABLE

Click here to view invoices for annual assessments to insurance companies and service companies. Payments are due August 9, 2019

Follow the instructions on the first page of the document to locate the invoice that applies to your company.  

Please consider using the OPTins "Assessment" account to pay your assessment invoice.  

Arizona Sample Notice of Continuation Coverage (Mini-COBRA)

Pursuant to ARS § 20-2330, a health benefits plan issued or renewed after December 31, 2018, must allow an enrollee and any qualified dependent to continue coverage after a qualifying event.  The law requires a small employer (with an average of at least 1 but fewer than 20 employees) to notify an enrollee in writing of the right of the enrollee and any qualified dependents to continue coverage under the employer's health benefits plan upon an enrollee's qualifying event.  Pursuant to Subsection C of the law, the Department has prepared a sample notice of coverage continuation form and is making the sample available on its website.  A small employer that uses, properly completes, and timely issues the Department's form is presumed to satisfy notification requirements.  On January 23, 2019, the Department uploaded a new version of the form.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Regulation

In 2019, the Arizona Legislature adopted the NAIC Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Act at Arizona Revised Statutes (“ARS”) by enacting the Corporate Governance Act at Title 20, Chapter 2, Article 16 (Laws 2019, 1st Reg. Sess., Ch. 180, § 1).   The Department of Insurance (“Department”) seeks to adopt the correlate Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Regulation.  ARS § 20-492.02 allows the Department to adopt rules to carry out the Act upon notice and an opportunity to be heard.  The Legislature has exempted the Department from Title 41, Chapter 6 for one year after the effective date of the Act.  (Laws 2019, 1st Reg. Sess., Ch. 180, § 2.)

Regulatory Bulletin 2019-01

Use of Credits and Premium Rebates in the Health Insurance Market