June 4, 2023

State investigators have halted the operations of a Glendale enterprise that allegedly submitted smoke-damage insurance coverage claims on behalf of householders with out their information or consent.

A California Division of Insurance coverage investigation found that California Restoration Group (CRG) and its proprietor, Argen Youssefi, have been soliciting enterprise at folks’s houses and sending out mass mailers in an effort to file insurance coverage claims associated to break attributable to wildfires.

The mailers prompted property homeowners to go to the web site SmokeClaim.com or name a quantity to be able to obtain smoke-settlement info.

Investigators allege CRG and its representatives would usually mislead potential shoppers by telling them this system was funded by the state of California and saying there could be no declare towards their home-owner’s insurance coverage and no influence on their month-to-month charges.

House owner’s insurance coverage usually covers smoke injury.

Investigators additional declare CRG listed itself because the payee on a few of the claims that have been submitted with out the information or consent of householders.

Investigators say the corporate’s unlawful actions happened from 2019 by means of 2021.

“Because of the laborious work of my division’s investigators and authorized workforce, this firm has been stopped,” Insurance coverage Commissioner Ricardo Lara mentioned in a press release.

Householders usually don’t know the place to show when catastrophe strikes, Lara mentioned, and CRG “took benefit of adverse conditions in violation of California’s shopper safety legal guidelines.”

Youssefi has agreed to give up his licenses to the state Division of Insurance coverage and he will probably be prohibited from working within the insurance coverage trade in any capability for eight years, officers mentioned.

Investigators say there could also be further victims, because the investigation is ongoing. Anybody who believes they could be a sufferer ought to contact the California Division of Insurance coverage at 213-278-5000.

The division presents a Don’t Get Scammed information that’s designed to assist owners keep away from fraudsters, starting from unlicensed contractors to others who swoop in within the wake of pure disasters.

California Restoration Group’s voicemail says the corporate just isn’t taking up any extra shoppers and it’s referring those that could also be inquiring a couple of potential settlement with CRG to name Megerdomian Legislation Places of work at 877-734-3095.