Speed Channel show host caught in CA fraud sting SANTA ANA, Calif. – Prosecutors in California have charged 53 mechanics with defrauding auto shop customers, including the host of the Speed Channel reality show “Chop Cut Rebuild.” The Associated Press (AP)
On June 3rd, the above story and headline was presented by numerous media outlets; including a significant number of Radio and Television stations. The story culminated for release following a press conference held by Orange County District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas.
Richard Todd Evans was named in Rackauckas’ list of 53 people charged. Evans has appeared on numerous automotive television shows and was wrongly identified by a number of news outlets, including The AP – as the host of the SPEED Channel series Chop Cut Rebuild.
Was Productions Inc. states unequivocally: Mr. Evans has never hosted Chop Cut Rebuild, and has not been an active cast member since 2004. Further, Evans has never had any direct association with SPEED. Evans’ association with the series entails a non-paid appearance in a single season, as one of 5 featured custom car builders, during the 2nd year of the popular show. Last year, Mr. Evans made a very brief appearance during a 100th episode anniversary recap.
Chop Cut Rebuild is now in production for its 7th successful season on SPEED, with international broadcasts across Europe on Discovery Turbo.
The recognized host of Chop Cut Rebuild is also the series creator, and its executive producer, Dan Woods. Mr. Woods is an original cast member of the Emmy Award winning Degrassi franchise. Woods has been at the helm of the CCR series and its production company, since its inception. Mr. Woods made the following comments regarding Mr. Evans:
“I was disheartened to learn a shop owner who had participated in our series has been named in this investigation. I’m hopeful Rich will be afforded due process without prejudice. Rich is an extremely talented builder. I wish him the best.”
As for the Orange County DA’s efforts to combat automotive insurance fraud, Mr. Woods stated:
This alleged activity casts the automotive repair and customization industry throughout Orange County, CA – in an unfortunate light. That said: I applaud the OCDA for making an effort to keep shops honest and fair in their dealings with customers and their insurers.