If you are a California professional with an auto repair business or smog check operation, you should know of the risk to your California license from taking actions which could constitute insurance fraud.
The California Bureau of Auto Repair (BAR) within the Department of Consumer Affairs currently holds the responsibility for regulating and administering disciplinary actions for California licensees including auto repair shops and smog check stations. A common consumer complaint in auto repair cases brought before the Department is that an auto repair operation invoiced a consumer for repairs which were not actually performed and/or for parts which were not actually purchased in order to complete the repair.
Refer to these 2016 case findings:
Smog inspection operations are also frequently the subject of governmental sting operations where fraudulent operators substitute smog check records for cars which would fail smog tests with tests from passing cars after receiving kickbacks from consumers so that they can sell their cars more easily. Other smog inspection stations are caught for fraudulently claiming to consumers that their cars “failed” tests so that they can charge them for “necessary repairs”.
These California Bureau of Auto Repair cases highlight the additional financial burdens that a negative finding can bestow upon a defendant who is convicted of insurance fraud. Fraud perpetrators will often be required to pay all investigative and legal costs incurred by the BAR as well as restitution costs to the affected party who was the victim of the fraudulent action on the part of the licensee.
Insurance fraud is considered a criminal offense by the state of California under the Business and Professions Code, Section 9889.2 and statutory provisions Sections 475 and 480. Criminal offenses will result in denial of a California state license for the operation of an auto repair or smog check operation. And note, a state licensing authority has no mandatory duty to remove publicly available information about a licensee’s convictions from its website–including convictions that are eventually dismissed under Penal Code Sec 1203.4 and Sec. 1203.4a.
If you own a California auto repair or smog check business which has been accused of insurance fraud, you need to immediately hire a criminal lawyer who also has experience in licensing law.
The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister have successfully represented a wide range of California licensed professionals and we are experienced in handling California criminal cases as well as all types of professional licensing accusations and licensing issues. Let us help you protect your professional license, your reputation, and your livelihood.
For additional information or to schedule a consultation on a professional licensing issue, please contact our law offices today at (877) 280-9944.