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Body Shop Operator Accused of Double Billing for Work

September 20, 2000

NORTHRIDGE — City prosecutors have filed criminal charges against the owner of an auto body repair shop accused of billing customers and insurance companies for the same work, Los Angeles City Atty. James Hahn said Tuesday.

Mehdi Roozbanian, 46, of Granada Hills, was charged Monday with several misdemeanors stemming from his work on two vehicles whose owners accused him of double billing and complained to the state Bureau of Automotive Repair.

The charges against Roozbanian, the operator of Sherman Auto Body Inc. at 18405 Eddy St., include grand theft, preparing a false insurance claim and failing to give a written estimate for repairs, prosecutors said.

In one August incident, Roozbanian is alleged to have billed 20th Century Insurance $730 for parts for a 1984 Chevrolet pickup truck that the vehicle's owner had already paid for, said Deputy City Atty. Mark Lambert. The truck's owner, meanwhile, had purchased the parts elsewhere for less than $300.

The second complaint involved a Jaguar that had been heavily damaged by vandals and declared a total loss by Superior Insurance Co. The owner allegedly paid Roozbanian $4,000 to repair it and Roozbanian billed Superior Insurance $945 for the same work, Lambert said.

Roozbanian is scheduled for arraignment Oct. 12 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

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