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Three are charged in $11 million insurance case

Three people, including an Orange County resident, have been charged in an $11 million scheme to forge repair checks from insurance departments.

Bob Dale Roberts Jr., 51,  of Dana Point, Steven Manchester, 50,  of Riverside and Heather Reavis, 40,  of Rancho Cucamonga all pleaded not guilty, San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney David Simon said. They were released from custody Wednesday pending a preliminary hearing.

Roberts and Manchester co-own the Rancho Cucamonga and Tustin franchise of ServiceMaster, a restoration and clean-up business that is commonly hired following an insured property loss. Reavis is the company controller.

A criminal complaint filed last week in San Bernardino County Superior Court charged that they stole $11.6 million from nearly three dozen insurance companies by forging names on checks between 2005 and 2009.

According to the complaint, the fraud began to unravel in 2007 when a homeowner complained to her insurer about work the ServiceMaster franchise had done on her home following a November 2005 fire. An investigator for Mercury Insurance then discovered that Roberts and Manchester had forged signatures on insurance checks payable to the homeowners and mortgage lenders, the complaint alleged.

The fraud division of the California Department of Insurance investigated the case.

“This case exhibits a willful and flagrant disregard for the law and an abuse of the insurance system,” state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said. “Let this stand as a warning to those who think they can get away with it.”



Written by lordsinsurancelog

April 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Insurance News