Geico Insurance has filed a federal lawsuit in Arizona against Advantage Auto Glass, LLC, (AAG) and its owner, Jeremy Solheim. The insurance company alleges AAG and Solheim are responsible for submitting thousands of fraudulent glass repair claims. Geico is seeking to recover damages under the civil racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act (RICO) statutes, as well as unjust enrichment and fraud statutes.
Geico’s complaint alleges AAG and Solheim had an ongoing “fraudulent scheme” committed against the insurance company and the Arizona automobile insurance industry. Geico claims AAG and Solheim stole from the company through their false claims and is aiming for the court to find the defendants guilty, and subsequently pay Geico $650,000.
“The defendants have stolen from Geico through the submission of thousands of fraudulent insurance claims seeking reimbursement for: windshield replacement services (the glass services); the installation of windshield parts – including moldings, weather strips, sensors, glass spacers, and trims – attendant to the windshield replacements (the glass parts); and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) re-calibration services (the ADAS Services) allegedly provided to individuals who were eligible for glass repair/replacement coverage under comprehensive automobile insurance policies issued by GEICO (“Insureds”),” a portion of the complaint reads.
Geico states there was not sufficient evidence that the auto glass repair company performed any of the work it claimed to have done.
According to court documents, the insurance company is going after more than just money. Geico is also seeking a declaration that states it is not legally obligated to pay a reimbursement of more than $90,000 in outstanding claims for auto glass services, parts, and ADAS services that have been submitted by AAG. Geico also alleges that its customers’ signatures were forged on invoices for repairs by AAG that were never performed.
“… the claims were fraudulent in that they: involved charges for fraudulent and illusory glass services, parts, and ADAS services that were never performed and/or provided in the first instance; and involved the submission of fraudulent and fabricated purchase invoices in order to substantiate their charges for the glass services and parts and to create the appearance that the defendants had legitimately acquired the glass parts, when in fact they did not,” a portion of the complaint reads.
The alleged activity, according to Geico, began as early January 2018 and has continued uninterrupted through the present day. The insurance company claims Solheim used AAG as a “vehicle through which he could submit a massive amount of fraudulent billing for goods and services which were never performed or provided in the first instance.”
Although the defendants have been operating in Arizona for years, the number of auto glass claims have not only increased in the amount, but also the price per vehicle per year.
“Prior to 2018, Advantage historically submitted a small number of claims. By way of example, in 2017 Advantage submitted 274 claims seeking approximately $140,000 in payments. In 2016 Advantage submitted 132 claims seeking approximately $64,000.00 in payments. By contrast, in 2018, Advantage submitted 807 claims in seeking more than $537,000.00 in payments,” a portion of the complaint reads.
According to Geico’s financial records, during the first two months of 2019, AAG submitted 192 claims that totaled approximately $140,000.
“… For example, between 2015 and 2017, the average claim submitted to GEICO from Advantage was for approximately $500, while the average claim submitted to GEICO from Advantage between 2018 and the present was for more than $675,” a portion of the complaint reads.
The alleged fraudulent scandal involved in more than one thousand claims, according to court documents.
At press time, Advantage Auto Glass, LLC had not yet responded to requests for comment from glassBYTEs. Check glassBYTEs.com for coverage of Advantage Auto Glass’s response to these claims, once those documents become available.