|For Immediate Release
Case # 09CF1903
August 5, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
FIVE FRIENDS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH STAGING AUTO COLLISION AND THEN FRAUDULENTLY FILING INSURANCE CLAIM
SANTA ANA – Five friends were arrested and charged today with staging an auto collision and then fraudulently filing an insurance claim with Infinity Insurance Company (Infinity) and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm). Phuong Nguyen, 29, and David Pham, 71, both of Westminster, and husband and wife, Hoai Nguyen, 57, and Tracy Nguyen, 50, both of Huntington Beach, are all charged with three felony counts of insurance fraud and two felony counts of grand theft. If convicted on all charges, the four defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in state prison each. Tony Nguyen, 53, Westminster, is charged with three felony counts of insurance fraud, two felony counts of grand theft, and one felony count of false and fraudulent claim. If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison. All five are being held on $30,000 bail and are expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009, at 1:30 p.m., in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
“These scams endanger other drivers and take money from our pockets,” said Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. “We will continue to work hand-in-hand with our local partners to fight this type of fraud.”
At approximately 10:30 p.m. on June 13, 2008, Tony Nguyen is accused of driving a 1995 Nissan sedan with Phuong Nguyen in the passenger seat. He is accused of pulling out in front of a 1990 Nissan Maxima occupied by driver Tracy Nguyen, her husband Hoai Nguyen, and friend David Pham in the back seat. Tony Nguyen is accused of sideswiping the Maxima at the intersection of Brookhurst Street and Larson Avenue in Garden Grove. They are accused of pulling over and exchanging information. No medical personnel or police were called to the scene. Tony Nguyen is accused of referring the four co-defendants to the Law Offices of Walter Martinez and the Law Office of Tung T. Pham. On June 16, 2008, all five defendants are accused of filing an insurance claim for bodily injury and vehicle damage with Infinity and State Farm totaling over $60,000.
On June 30, 2008, during a recorded statement to Infinity, the five defendants are accused of stating that they did not know the occupants in the other vehicle before the collision. On July 11, 2008, during another recorded statement taken by Infinity, Tracy Nguyen, Hoai Nguyen, and David Pham are accused of stating that they didn’t know the driver or the passenger in the car that hit them. On July 22, 2008, during a recorded statement taken by Infinity, Phuong Nguyen is accused of stating that she didn’t know the three people that were in the car that was hit.
In July 2008, the Department of Insurance began an investigation into the case at Infinity’s request. During the time of the accident, all five defendants are accused of knowing each other and living together at various times in a Huntington Beach house owned by Hoai and Tracy Nguyen.
In August and October of 2008, the five defendants are accused of receiving money from Infinity and State Farm totaling over $3,200 in collision claims.
Deputy District Attorney Demetra Lewis of the Auto Insurance Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.