A 50-year-old San Jose man has been charged with four felony counts of insurance fraud and perjury after he is alleged to have falsely reported in 2021 that his classic muscle car had been stolen.
A 1968 Oldsmobile 442 that the suspect, Marcus Hooks, filed an $80,000 claim for had not been stolen and wasn’t owned by Hooks, according to prosecutors.
Hooks was arraigned on June 8 on the felony complaint, and he has pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to a press release from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
A preliminary hearing has been set for Tuesday.
“This is one car, one man. But insurance fraud costs consumers millions each year,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “While fraudsters are siphoning money, our insurance fraud unit is busy reviewing cases, investigating, and filing serious charges.”
Rosen said that on Aug. 8, 2021, Hooks filed a vehicle theft report in Fremont, claiming that his classic car was stolen while it was left on the side of the road. An investigation conducted by the Department of Insurance discovered Hooks was never the owner of the car, according to the criminal complaint.
The investigation revealed that Hooks submitted a false title and false registration documents to the DMV to obtain documents that he owned the car. The true legal owner of the car was still in possession of the Oldsmobile and was unaware that Hooks had fraudulently obtained DMV documents putting the car in Hooks’ name, prosecutors said.
Hooks then made a claim with Hagerty Insurance that his car was stolen and provided a copy of the false stolen vehicle report he made to the Fremont Police Department, and received $80,000 from the insurance company, according to prosecutors.. It is further alleged in the charges that Hooks had previously been convicted of two subsequent insurance fraud crimes, one in 2005 and another in 2002.