Life Insurance

Motel owners’ son sentenced for role in felony insurance fraud scheme

The son of motel operators was sentenced in Kern County Superior Court in California after pleading no contest to five felony counts of accessory to a crime.

Kirankumar “Ken” Patel, 53, was sentenced to two years felony probation and six months of jail time, to be served through an electronic monitoring program. He was also ordered to pay $25,000 in fines and has agreed to make a 50,000 donation to the Bakersfield Homeless Center, a release from the California Department of Insurance said.

Patel filed a commercial property claim on September 04, 2018 on behalf of his family; he submitted invoices and repair estimates totaling $50,325. In the claim, Patel reported that a motel guest broke the fire protection system, which resulted in the sprinklers turning on and causing damage to several rooms and hallways. However, the insurer suspected fraud, and the California Department of Insurance launched an investigation into the matter.

The insurer paid the motel owners $37,570 for the claim. But when investigators contacted the vendors Patel supposedly engaged with for the repair and restoration work, they discovered that the invoices and estimates were either not legitimate or were altered. One vendor even denied producing an estimate, which Patel provided in the claim. Another vendor said that while they produced an estimate, no sales were made.

Patel pleaded no contest on April 23, 2021. He was charged on November 19, 2020.

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