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Insurance Law

Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Felony Insurance Fraud Over Mickey Mantle Baseball Cards

Keith Hooks, a former City of Tracy police officer, has pled guilty to felony insurance fraud after falsifying a claim for the loss of three Mickey Mantle collector baseball cards.

The California Department of Insurance initiated an investigation in May 2012 based on a tip from California State Automobile Association Insurance Group.  CSAA IG received a homeowner’s insurance claim from Hooks for the theft of three Mickey Mantle baseball cards, he valued at approximately $20,500.  The company reported their suspicions to the department after Hooks gave numerous inconsistent statements regarding how the baseball cards were acquired, their purchase price and the method of payment.

“The dishonesty of insurance fraud is shocking in itself, but the fact that this was perpetrated by a law enforcement officer is heinous and unconscionable,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.  “Taking advantage of an insurer by filing false claims contributes to inflating costs and increases in premiums.”

The investigation revealed that Hooks changed the purchase dates of the cards three times during the course of the claim.  He also changed his story regarding the details of the purchase including the identity of individuals that traveled with him during the purchase of the baseball cards.  The Las Vegas card show where Hooks claimed to have purchased the baseball cards was actually an industry convention that was closed to the general public.  Department detectives determined on the two dates on which Hooks claimed he purchased the baseball cards in Las Vegas he was either on duty as a police officer for the City of Tracy or vacationing in South Lake Tahoe.

In one of Hooks’ previous homeowner’s claims filed in 2008, he reported the loss of over 100 baseball cards valued from $10 to $6,000 each and received a payout of over $14,000.  In total, Hooks has received over $56,000 from five homeowner’s insurance claims filed due to the reported loss of personal property from theft.

Sentencing is expected to include a minimum of four years felony probation and an order to pay $7,055 in restitution as well as court fines.

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