A man from Northern California has been charged for allegedly plotting to claim on a $43,000 insurance payout – despite being set to receive over $1 million for his wildfire-damaged home and vehicles.
According to the California Department of Insurance, Stephen Cortopassi, 64, faces nine felony counts of insurance fraud.
Cortopassi lost his home and four vehicles to the Carr Fire when it reached Redding, CA on July 27, 2018. The next day, he purchased a new policy on one of the vehicles, despite the automobile already being damaged by fire. He also added comprehensive coverage to the three remaining vehicles, which previously only had liability coverage, a statement from the state insurance department said.
His new policies took effect July 29, 2018. The four vehicles he bought insurance again for had an estimated total value of $43,000.
Cortopassi later filed a claim, stating that the vehicles were destroyed August 09, 2018 – two weeks after they were actually destroyed by wildfire.
The Associated Press reported that Cortopassi is scheduled to appear in court March 02; the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.