Big Sentence for Big Fraud

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:49 am   Post subject: Big Sentence for Big Fraud  



Suspect Preyed Upon Senior Citizen

[California] Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Joseph Varrella, 49, of Fresno was sentenced on 19 felony counts of insurance fraud on July 13. Varrella, who has been in custody since his arrest in June 2011, received a 21-year sentence–18 in custody, with three on supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $189,000 in restitution.

“One of my top priorities is bringing to justice unscrupulous individuals who prey upon innocent seniors,” said Commissioner Jones.

According to investigators, Varrella staged a home burglary and filed a false insurance claim against the victim’s homeowners policy. The joint investigation between the California Department of Insurance Fraud Division and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office found Varrella continued filing losses over the fictitious burglary and defrauded the AAA Insurance Exchange of $189,000.

He told the company he was the insured woman’s personal assistant, handling almost all of the issues involved in the claim. Varrella stretched the claims process out over 30 months, claiming additional items were stolen or damaged. He used much of the money to buy large quantities of tools and other items for his own gain. Investigators seized $31,500 in cash and about $150,000 worth of tools and other items at five different locations.

Varrella faces additional felony charges related to witness intimidation, attempts to dissuade a witness, and violations of a court order.


Just another friendly reminder that insurance fraud usually results in a conviction when you get caught. This one resulted in an actual prison sentence, with more to come.


CA-licensed Life & Disability Analyst. CA Insurance Lic #0596197. Also investigating insurance company abuses, and providing litigation support/expert witness services. Send me your questions, and I'll send you my answers.
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