Friday, February 26, 2010

Auto glass installer sentenced, must repay $100,000

A Battle Ground auto glass installer who overbilled an insurance company for years will have to pay back $100,000 in inflated billings.

Robert T. Wooster, doing business as Dr. Bob’s Auto Glass and DRB Enterprises Auto Glass, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a felony charge of first-degree theft. He was sentenced to 1 year's probation and $100,000 in restitution on Thursday.

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's Special Investigations Unit served a search warrant on Wooster’s business in late 2007, seizing dozens of fraudulent invoices.

The investigation found that Wooster had two schemes for illegally billing the insurer:

-He would replaced chipped or cracked windshields, but bill the company for more-expensive side- or back windows. The insurance commissioner’s office is aware of more than 100 cases in which customers had windshields replaced, but where the records showed that Wooster had billed for side- or back glass.

-He would submit bogus invoices, cutting and pasting photocopied dealer invoices to make it look like his costs for the glass were much higher than they really were. He also fabricated false invoices for parts that were never actually installed, such as new window moldings.