Fifteen Arrested in Insurance Fraud Scheme

Fifteen Arrested in Insurance Fraud Scheme

Artur Ashotovich Grigoryan

FRESNO – The ringleader and more than two dozen others suspected of being involved in a staged collision auto insurance fraud scheme have been arrested on multiple felony counts.

The scheme involved staging auto collisions to scam more than four insurance companies out of tens of thousands of dollars. The suspects allegedly submitted 26 fraudulent insurance claims totaling more than $140,000.

Once the insurance companies paid the claims, the suspects pocketed the proceeds and did not repair damaged vehicles, the California Department of Insurance said.

Evidence obtained during an investigation revealed that the suspects intentionally damaged vehicles to submit the fraudulent claims and some of the participants were recruited with promises of cash or offers to fix the damaged vehicles, the agency said.

The suspects also allegedly stole identities to submit claims.

“California is ground zero for auto insurance fraud,” said Dave Jones, insurance commissioner. “Insurance fraud costs insurers billions every year and those costs are all passed along to consumers through higher insurance premiums. Bottom line – everyone pays for insurance fraud.”

Suspected ringleader Artur Ashotovich Grigoryan, 32, was one of the 15 arrested. Police say that at least 13 more people who were involved in the scheme have not yet been arrested.

Those arrested as of May 10 are: Hakob Ashoti Grigoryan, 24; Arayik Karapetyan, 40; Ray Chris Walker, 54; Richard Franklin, Jr., 36; Thomas Finley, 39; Ashot Hovhannisyan, 30; Taron Tadevosyan, 25; Ashley Johnson, 29; Douglas Rose, 54; Artak Ghazaryan, 20; Hermine Hambartsumyan, 34; Gayane Gharazaryan, 44; and Derenik Martirosyan, 24.

Fifteen Arrested in Insurance Fraud Scheme was last modified: May 31st, 2016 by admin
Categories: Fresno

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Elizabeth Warmerdam

Beth Warmerdam is a freelance journalist based out of Reedley. She graduated from Fresno State in 2004 with a BA in print journalism and has worked for several newspapers and magazines. In addition to writing, Beth enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, trying to keep up with her 2-year-old son, Zachary.