New York Man Arrested for Insuring 18 Unlicensed Family Members

February 23, 2011

A Middletown man who thought he was doing favors for unlicensed family members and friends by registering and insuring their cars was arrested for falsifying business records, the New York State Insurance Department reported.

Ruben Godinez has been accused of registering and insuring in his name 18 vehicles for individuals unable to obtain driver’s licenses because they are not citizens or documented immigrants.

An investigation was begun when Godinez attempted to register several vehicles at one time. A state Department of Motor Vehicles staff member became suspicious when noticing that a number of other vehicles were already registered in his name.

Investigators from the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau and the DMV discovered that Godinez had registered as many as 45 vehicles in his name over the last three years. They also found that he had insured the vehicles through six different automobile insurance companies.

Investigators said Godinez did not personally profit from the transactions. He simply charged the unlicensed drivers the same amount of money that it cost him to register and insure their cars. Investigators said that several of the vehicles had been involved in minor accidents.

Godinez was charged with first degree counts of falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing. He could be sentenced to up to five years in prison if he is convicted.

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