SACRAMENTO- On June 18, 2019, detectives from the California Department of Insurance arrested three suspects, with a fourth suspect turning himself in on June 20th, all suspected in an auto insurance fraud ring.
- Ameer Almassou, 29, owner of Habib Auto Sales
- Ziad Jaber Jaber, 21
- Bariq Aleyada, 33, works at Ocean Auto Sales
- Muhamed El Gererey, 38 associated with Rusul Auto Sales.
The four suspects allegedly ripped off auto insurers for more than $22,000 by filing fraudulent insurance claims. The scheme involved owners and associates of Habib Auto Sales, Ocean Auto Sales, and Rusul Auto Sales who allegedly bought damaged vehicles from auto auctions and staged collisions or damage with those vehicles in an attempt to collect fraudulent insurance payouts.
“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. It hurts each and every one of us who works hard to pay our premiums each month, quarter or year,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “The criminal actions of those who commit insurance fraud cannot go uninvestigated. There is just too much of it taking place in this state and in the country.”
In one example, a suspect reported his 2015 Dodge was stolen, found burned and determined a total loss. He then reported the alleged theft to his insurance carrier and claimed he bought the car for about $12,000 from his own auto dealership. The investigation revealed the car was actually bought at an auto auction and it was already totaled.
In another example, a suspect bought a 2007 BMW with mechanical issues at an auto auction. That same day another suspect reported a solo vehicle collision to his insurer and claimed he bought the same 2007 BMW from a dealership. His insurer accepted the claim and paid him approximately $9,295 for his alleged collision.
One of the suspects submitted another insurance claim to a different insurer for a 2013 Mercedes and received an insurance payout for approximately $11,685. He claimed that two hours after purchasing the car he was involved in a three-vehicle collision. To corroborate this claim, another suspect provided a sales contract to the insurer even though the car was actually bought at an auto auction for less than what the contract listed.
This case was investigated by the Sacramento Urban Auto Fraud Task Force, which is supervised and led by the California Department of Insurance Enforcement Branch. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.