Five Charged with Insurance Fraud After Allegedly Staging Vehicle Collision
Above: Stock Image
Five people have reportedly been arrested after allegedly staging an auto collision to fraudulently collect an insurance payout.
According to a press release by the California Department of Insurance, the alleged scheme was discovered when investigators obtained a home surveillance video showing one of the defendants leaving a vehicle in the middle of an intersection, and another of the defendants driving a second vehicle into the unoccupied vehicle in the intersection. Both individuals are then seen fleeing the scene.
The defendants then allegedly filed an insurance claim, which would have led to a payout of around $30,000.
Investigators had begun looking into the circumstances of the collision after a woman at the scene had claimed to have been the victim of a hit-and-run, but witnesses on the scene reported that she had walked over to the vehicles after the collision.
The investigation into the case was handled by the Inland Empire Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force, which is made up of detectives and investigators from multiple agencies such as the California Department of Insurance, Highway Patrol, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, and the Riverside District Attorney’s Office.
Ultimately, five people were identified as suspects in connection with the case. They are identified as Priscilla Carmona Arajo, 29; Juan Barajas, 25; Garbeilla Cervantes, 52; Roberto Carlos Macias, 40; and Humberto Ortiz, 32.
Each reportedly faces one count of felony insurance fraud.
The California Department of Insurance reports that the case is being prosecuted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.