Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento auto body shop owner sentenced for insurance fraud

A Sacramento auto body shop owner has been sentenced to 180 days in county jail and five years probation after pleading no contest to insurance fraud.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Laurel White also ordered 37-year-old Ratnesh Kumar to pay $16,433.70 in restitution, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news relase.

On Oct. 26, 2009, Kumar’s friend, Ugend Prasad, reported to the Sacramento Police Department and his insurance carrier, CSAA, that Prasad’s 1997 Toyota 4 Runner had been stolen. On Dec. 4, 2009, CSAA paid Prasad $9,776.91 on his loss claim, authorities said.

On Nov. 3, 2009, Kumar reported to Sacramento police and GEICO Insurance Co. that his 1999 Honda Accord had been stolen. On Feb. 5, 2010, GEICO paid Kumar $6,456.79 on his loss claim.

Then on Nov. 17, 2010, Kumar’s wife was driving their 2002 Mercedes when she rear-ended another vehicle. After the accident, Kumar added collision insurance coverage to the Mercedes’ auto insurance policy. They next day, authorities said, he filed a collision coverage loss claim in which he falsely asserted that he had obtained the collision coverage before the accident.

On July 24, 2012, law enforcement officers searched Kumar’s body shop and discovered the rear half of the 1999 Honda that Kumar previously had reported stolen.

Authorities said Prasad has been charged in a separate complaint with committing multiple counts of insurance fraud and is to appear in Sacramento Superior Court on Aug. 7.