Investigators from the California Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Branch arrested Lucinda Anne Hatch of Orange County on two felony counts of insurance fraud and one felony count of forgery.
Hatch, 36, was arrested by CDI investigators on Nov. 21 at her residence in Fountain Valley, Calif., and booked into Orange County Central Jail. Bail was set at $10,000. If convicted Hatch could face up to five years in state prison and/or up to $50,000 in fines. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.
In October 1999, Hatch was involved in a vehicle accident after which a small claims complaint was filed by the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident, who had an insurance policy with Coast National Insurance Co. Hatch filed a cross-complaint, and in March 2000, a judgement was rendered on Hatch’s behalf for $1,057.50.
Hatch contacted Coast National Insurance Co., to inform them of a court judgement rendered on her behalf for $4,057.50. Hatch faxed Coast National Insurance a copy of a “Notice of Entry of Judgement” that reflected her statement of $4,057.50.
Coast National Insurance Co.’s insured, however, informed the company that she had received a copy of the notice that reflected a judgement for Hatch of $1,057.50. The insurer then contacted the Santa Ana Small Claims Court to confirm the judgement amount and was informed that the judgement was indeed for $1,057.50. Coast National Insurance Co. wrote a letter to the Supervising Superior Court Judge to inform him of the discrepancy in the judgement amount and what had been presented.
The judge found that a document purporting to be a copy of the court’s official “Notice of Entry of Judgement” had been altered to reflect a $4,057.50 judgement.
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