Several arrested in California insurance fraud bust

White collar crimes are often viewed by the public as less serious than violent crimes, but these types of crimes are often aggressively prosecuted by the federal government, making proper defense representation crucial.

According to the California Department of Insurance, the investigation into an insurance and auto loan fraud ring has resulted in multiple arrests. The defendants include 17 people from the Los Angeles area and one reportedly from Fresno. It was not clear if all 18 people were currently in custody. The investigation into the fraud ring has been going on for four years, according to reports, and 18 dealerships were allegedly defrauded.

The California Department of Insurance claims that those involved leased or bought expensive vehicles fraudulently by misrepresenting their incomes or employment on credit applications and then defaulted on the leases and loans. According to reports, those involved would then file false insurance claims on the vehicles. The California Insurance Commissioner issued a statement accusing the individuals of buying or leasing the vehicles with the intention of defaulting and filing the false claims.

According to reports, there were more than 28 vehicles involved, including five used, three that have since been exported from the U.S. and 20 new luxury vehicles. The arrest warrants were reportedly executed by the California Department of Insurance early on the morning of May 23. It was not clear what the official charges against those accused were at this time.

Federal crimes are serious charges that carry significant penalties and require solid criminal defense strategies. These types of crimes are prosecuted by the Department of Justice, and it is important for the defense to understand how prosecutors will approach the case and what the options are.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Arrests in California Fraud Ring Targeting Auto Dealers and Insurers" No author given, May. 23, 2014

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