LOS ANGELES, Calif. - California Department of Insurance (CDI) detectives are searching for a man suspected of insurance fraud after he allegedly struck a pedestrian in a staged accident.
CDI detectives have already arrested the pedestrian, Brandy Riste, 22, and her father, Tony Bimbo aka Anthony Riste, 45, both of Los Angeles, on two felony counts of insurance fraud. The two were arrested May 7, 2015 after detectives discovered they allegedly conspired with driver Bobby Vlado, 40, to defraud Alliance United Insurance Company out of nearly $18,000.
In October 2013, Vlado reported to his insurer that he accidentally struck a Brandy Riste at a busy intersection in Los Angeles because he was distracted while using his mobile phone. Brandy Riste went the emergency room twice following the accident incurring more than $11,000 in medical bills. Her father, Tony Bimbo, negotiated a claim on his daughter's behalf and she received an $18,000 settlement.
Evidence uncovered by detectives revealed that Riste's medical bills were never paid. In the course of the investigation, it was also discovered that although Vlado, Bimbo and Riste denied knowing each other, they communicated by phone extensively before and after the accident.
"This case serves as a reminder that fraud is a costly crime for insurers and consumers," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "These crimes are an expensive drain on the state's economy totaling billions annually. The cost of these scams is passed along to consumers through higher rates and premiums."
"There is no shortage of unscrupulous people who will do almost anything to take money that isn't theirs," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "CDI detectives are not only skilled at finding, arresting and assisting in the prosecution of these suspects, they have a passion for justice. They, like us, pay higher insurance premiums as a result of scams against insurance companies."
Bimbo and Riste are scheduled to appear in court on June 1. The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office is prosecuting this case. Anyone with information about Bobby Vlado's whereabouts is asked to contact CDI Detective Dan Shoham at (661) 253-7405.