A criminal complaint has been filed against an auto repairman accusing him of grand theft and insurance fraud after a sting operation by state authorities.
The investigation was triggered by a woman who complained to the state Bureau of Automotive Repair that Liberty Auto Center operator Mark Nodd billed her insurance company for car repairs that were never done, said Deputy City Atty. Mark Lambert. The shop, which was located in the 9500 block of DeSoto Avenue, has since moved, Lambert said.
Nodd, 59, charged the woman $500 for her insurance policy's deductible, and charged her insurer, Mercury Insurance Group, $1,198 more, Lambert said. Nodd kept $1,000 and used the remainder of the money to repair the car with substandard, used parts, he said.
A state investigator posed as the owner of a 1989 Honda Prelude with body damage. The agent said she was covered by insurance, Lambert said.
Nodd repaired the car, billing the agent's insurer $1,391 and the investigator $200 for the deductible, Lambert said. A state inspector who examined the car calculated that Nodd cheated the insurance company and the agent out of $1,000, Lambert said.
City prosecutors intend to charge the Granada Hills man with seven misdemeanor violations Thursday, including making false and misleading statements to his customers, failing to provide a proper invoice and failing to provide a written estimate for labor and parts. Nodd was not arrested but is scheduled for arraignment on March 16 in Los Angeles Municipal Court.
If convicted, Nodd faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail, Lambert said.