Auto body shop owner accused of staging accidents -, GA News Weather & Sports

Auto body shop owner accused of staging accidents

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Hugo Alejandro Mejia-Regalado (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Hugo Alejandro Mejia-Regalado (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

Twin investigations led to the arrest of a Phoenix body shop owner on suspicion of identity theft and staging hit-and-run accidents to collect insurance benefits.

Hugo Alejandro Mejia-Regalado was charged on Sept. 16 with several felonies involving fraud schemes, insurance fraud, forgeries, theft and aggravated identity theft.

Agents with the Arizona Department of Insurance, assisted by the Phoenix Police Department and agents with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, executed search warrants on X Auto Body Shop at 1540 West Broadway Rd. in Phoenix and his home in northwest Phoenix.

Investigators said they discovered auto policies had been taken out on different vehicles in fraudulent names using of fake Mexico driver's licenses.

Within a couple weeks, the vehicles were involved in hit-and-run accidents, which investigators believe were staged.

The false names were also used to obtain Arizona motor vehicle titles just prior to the policies being taken out, said the Arizona Department of Insurance.

Numerous other claims are still under investigation.

Mejia-Regalado was booked into the Maricopa County Jail. He is also incarcerated on a dederal immigration hold. 

People who suspect insurance fraud are encouraged to call the Fraud Unit of the Arizona Department of Insurance at 602-364-2140.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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