Neil R. Anapol submitted purportedly false insurance claims on the part of Farmerss insureds estimating more than 270 false claims made to Farmers totaling about $7 million, relating to a series of California wildfires over the past seven years.
Reference: The People Ex Rel. Fire Insurance Exchange et al v. Neil R. Anapol et al, No. B233521 (Cal.App. Dist.2 12/06/2012) the Fire Insurance Exchange and Mid Century Insurance Company (collectively Farmers) uncovered what it believed to be a massive insurance fraud ring engaged in the submission of false and/or inflated claims for smoke and ash damage arising from several Southern California wildfires
The filings seeks to recover three times that amount as well as civil penalties.These people are taking advantage of the system that is designed to compensate people whose homes have been damaged in wildfires, said Dennis Kass, an attorney representing Farmers. Its unfair to those who suffered real damages to have these false claims gumming up the system.
The claims averaged between $20,000 and $70,000. Some homeowners participated in the scam, taking ashes from their barbecues or fireplaces in order to file a false claim, Kass said.
The allegations have been forwarded to the California Department of Insurance and the Los Angeles County district attorneys office. The state insurance department declined to comment about any pending investigation. The district attorneys office had no immediate response.
Farmers Group Inc. was sued by more than 1,000 homeowners in August, accused of refusing to pay claims for smoke and ash damages suffered during last summers massive Station Fire near Los Angeles. The firm that filed that lawsuit is not named as a defendant in the suit unsealed on October 19.