LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Officials Wednesday announced two cell phone store owners have been charged for their involvement in an insurance fraud scheme that amounted to over $1 million.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Jason Young Kwon, 31, of Santa Fe Springs, and David Kisuk Chang, 31, of Burbank were each charged with 22 counts of insurance fraud, 18 counts of identity theft, and one count of grand theft.
Authorities explained Kwon and Chang were business partners who owned separate cell phone stores. They are accused of billing more than $1.3 million from an insurance company after filing false insurance claims for cell phones that were allegedly stolen, lost or damaged.
In 2011, two fraudulent claims were submitted by using forged drivers licenses of two male customers.
Authorities explained the customers were unaware that their licenses were being used for illegal activity.
Replacement cell phones that were provided by the insurance company were then sold by Kwon and Chang for profit.
Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against them on Monday and Tuesday.
They are scheduled to return to court on May 28 for a preliminary hearing.
If convicted, Kwon and Chang face up to 43 years, eight months in state prison, the district attorney’s office reported.
The California Department of Insurance is investigating the case.