They couldn't stop the wreck between a U-Haul truck and a car but our California Department of Insurance (CDI) detectives sure did put the brakes on the suspected insurance fraud that followed.
"This appears to be a staged auto collision involving four people back in December of last year," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Our members who are detectives with the Department of Insurance didn't let time stand in the way of exposing this dangerous scheme that puts innocent lives in danger and drives up the cost of insurance."
CDI detectives arrested three Sacramento women, Susan Lee, 24, Angelique Jones, 20 and Angela Medeiros, 40 for their alleged involvement in a staged crash between a car and a U-haul truck on December 11, 2011. A fourth suspect, Krysteimaree Marquez, 23, has a warrant out for her arrest.
According to a CDI press release, Marquez rented a U-Haul truck and added the extra insurance protection policy and then crashed with a car driven and occupied by people she denied she knew. Investigators linked the friends on social media sites. All four claimed injuries in the accident. Detectives said the potential loss to the insurance company was more than $37,000.
"Insurance fraud continues to be a major crime that affects law abiding citizens and businesses by raising the cost for their insurance," said California Association of Criminal Investigators President Frank Capetillo. "Not only does this type of scheme put innocent citizens in danger, it can change the lives of those who are injured. Cracking down on this kind of illegal activity takes a lot of hard work and good investigating. Our CDI investigators are not only up to the task, they excel in bringing these kind of criminals to justice."
If convicted on all three felony counts of insurance fraud they are charged with, the women face up to five years in state prison and/or a fine of $50,000.