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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 3, 2014

Business Owner Sentenced For Mail Fraud Conviction Related To 2006 Mountain View Fire

SAN JOSE – Fauzia Lodhi, formerly of Mountain View but now residing in Mission Viejo, Calif., was sentenced on April 2, 2014, to 16 months in custody for her conviction on mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Riehl.

Lodhi, 53, pleaded guilty to committing mail fraud on May 1, 2013. Lodhi admitted that she submitted both fraudulent business income interruption claims and fraudulent business personal property claims to State Farm Insurance arising from damage incurred during a fire at her business on May 17, 2006. The business was Postal Express, located at 801 West El Camino Real, Mountain View, Calif. Previous to the fire, Lodhi had provided inflated inventory and revenue statements to a State Farm insurance agent in order to induce State Farm to insure Postal Express for business interruption and loss of business personal property in excess of the actual value of the business. Lodhi then submitted insurance claims to State Farm based on the falsely inflated inventory and revenue statements.

In addition, Lodhi intentionally misrepresented the amount of business interruption insurance payments and loss of business personal property insurance payments to which she was entitled under her State Farm insurance policy. She admitted that she used the fraudulently-obtained business interruption payments to satisfy her outstanding debts.

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, United States District Court Judge. Judge Koh also sentenced Lodhi to a three-year period of supervised release and ordered the defendant to pay restitution of $54,896 to State Farm Insurance. Lodhi was ordered to self-surrender on July 30, 2014.

Matt Parrella is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Elise Etter. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Mountain View Police Department, and the Mountain View Fire Department.

(Lodhi indictment )