Lilly, 39, known as being a crafty left-hander with a long career in the league while making two All-Star teams, last pitched with the Dodgers before retiring.
He has been charged by the California Department of Insurance for allegedly filing a false insurance claim in March relating to his damaged recreational vehicle, worth $210,000, said Nancy Kincaid, a spokeswoman for the agency.
The department’s investigation showed Lilly sustained damage in a collision while backing up the vehicle and sought an estimate from a body shop on March 19, Kincaid said. The estimate was $4,600.
Then Lilly bought insurance from Progressive on March 24 and claimed the damage on March 28, Kincaid said.
The three felony charges, filed Oct. 24, are filing a false insurance claim, filing a false statement in connection with an insurance claim, and concealing a material fact in connection with an insurance claim. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.
Lilly’s lawyer, James Murphy, didn’t return a call for comment.
Lilly faces a maximum penalty of five years in San Luis Obispo County Jail if he’s convicted. He’s scheduled for arraignment on Feb. 5 before San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge John Trice. Three previous court hearings were postponed.
“What a lot of people may not realize is that body shops often enter estimates into a database that insurance companies can check to verify claims,” Kincaid said. “They can see what the damage was and whether a false claim may have been filed.”
The arrest came after the Department of Insurance conducted a sweep, serving warrants in 22 counties where prosecutors have filed more than 200 felony counts.
The sting focused on drivers who were uninsured, underinsured or allegedly purchased or bolstered coverage after a collision or damage had occurred.
Kincaid said the perception often is that undocumented drivers are uninsured, but the sweep showed only a handful of the alleged culprits were undocumented, while many had affluent professions, including college professors and soccer moms.
“The cost of defending yourself against serious charges of filing false claims, and not being properly insured, is not worth it,” Kincaid said.
Lilly finished his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, signing a three-year, $33 million deal in 2010. Before that, the left-hander pitched with the Chicago Cubs, earning a four-year, $40 million deal.
Lilly pitched for six Major League teams in a career spanning 15 years.
He attended Yosemite High School in Oakhurst, Calif., and was drafted in the 23rd round by the Dodgers in 1996. He had a career record of 130-113 with a 4.14 earned run average, making the All-Star team in 2004 and 2009.