RIVERSIDE COUNTY: $ 2.4 million state grant boosts insurance fraud …
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With the tough economy pushing more people to commit insurance fraud in the Inland area, the Riverside County district attorney’s office on Thursday, Aug. 30 announced $ 2.4 million in state grants to help staff the insurance fraud unit of the special prosecutions section.

The grants were announced at a news conference in Riverside by District Attorney Paul Zellerbach and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

The money for 2013 will cover investigations into workers’ compensation insurance fraud; what is called “regular” automobile insurance fraud by individuals; and also organized auto insurance fraud that is conducted by a ring that conspires to stage accidents and collect and divide the profits among its members.

The majority of the money, $ 1.4 million, is aimed at workers’ compensation fraud.

“Unfortunately in these tough economic times we’ve seen a rise, an increase, in automobile insurance fraud (and) workers’ compensation fraud, we also have what we call life and annuity fraud, and that type of fraud is on the upswing as well, so we have our work cut out for us,” Zellerbach said in announcing the grant.

Zellerbach said that in 2010, Riverside County ranked third in the state for suspected fraudulent claims involving auto insurance.

The grant money will cover the salaries and benefits for five prosecutors, seven in…………… continues on Press-Enterprise

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