Press Release 2012-01 Arizona Identity Thief Sentenced
Media Contact: Erin Klug Public Information Officer 602.364.3471 or [email protected]
For Immediate Release January 4, 2012
Consumers urged to monitor claims for identity theft
An investigation by the Arizona Department of Insurance lead to the arrest and felony conviction of Michael Swedo who plead guilty to Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices for submitting fraudulent claims to insurance companies and stealing the identity of an individual to set up a false business to conduct his scam. Today, Swedo was sentenced to serve 5 years in prison, pay a $5,000 fine and $83,356 in restitution to 16 different insurance companies.
Between November 2010 and April 2011, Swedo submitted hundreds of phony claims to numerous insurance companies for windshield replacements using the identity of Duane Cipolla and Cipolla Auto Glass. With the help of other suspects, Swedo obtained old glass repair work orders from at least 15 different glass companies. These work orders contained client names, addresses, phone numbers, vehicles, and insurance policy information, which Swedo used to file fraudulent windshield replacement claims with multiple insurance companies. Posing as the insured and an employee of Cipolla Auto Glass, Swedo stole over $83,000 from 16 insurance companies.
With the volume of exaggerated and false glass claims stemming from these types of enterprises, it’s a good idea for vehicle owners to protect their auto insurance information and contact their insurance company periodically to review their claims history.