On July 1, James Adkins, 43, was sentenced to nine months in jail and ordered to pay more than $22,000 in restitution for reporting insurance fraud. He was also placed on five years formal probation.
According to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office, in March 2010, Adkins was two months behind on vehicle loan payments to his credit union. He asked a friend, co-defendant Justin Highsmith, to get rid of his 2002 Escalade so he could then file a fraudulent stolen vehicle claim with his auto insurance company. According to officials, Highsmith agreed and gave the vehicle to an individual who then sold the Escalade.
On May 18, 2010, Adkins filed a stolen vehicle report with his insurance company and with the Sacramento Police Department. The next month, the buyer of the Escalade tried to register the vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles, but was unable to do so because Adkins’ credit union had a lien on the vehicle.
On December 19, 2011, Adkins admitted to the California Department of Insurance Urban Auto Task Force that he had filed a fraudulent stolen vehicle report.
Highsmith was sentenced, June 11, to 90 days in county jail and placed on felony probation. He pleaded no contest to a felony insurance fraud violation.
"There is no shortage of work for our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members who investigate insurance fraud," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "Those who commit insurance fraud cost each and every one of us money in higher premiums."