MARTINEZ – On July 15, 2019, Cornelius Salmer, Antoinette Green, Benisha Seldon, and Jonnie Gilbert pleaded guilty to insurance fraud for their roles in an organized fraud ring in which they submitted fraudulent auto insurance claims to insurance companies using multiple vehicles and stolen identities.
“Thankfully, California employs smart, dedicated insurance investigators and detectives to take on insurance fraud,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “There is too much of it going on and it ends up costing all of us money in higher premium.”
Cornelius Salmer pleaded no contest to six felonies, including three counts of filing a false insurance claim and three felony counts of identity theft and was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $63,217.26 of restitution pursuant to the terms of the plea.
Benisha Seldon and Antoinette Green each pleaded no contest to two felonies for filing a false insurance claim and identity theft. Seldon was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 180 days of jail and ordered to pay $32,597.02 restitution pursuant to the plea terms. Green was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 180 days of jail and ordered to pay $19,414.17 restitution.
Jonnie Gilbert pleaded no contest to a single count of receiving stolen property as a misdemeanor and received a sentence of two years’ probation, 30 days jail, and $2,450.52 of restitution pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement.
The case originated with a referral from the analysts at the National Insurance Crime Bureau that triggered a joint investigation by the California Department of Insurance, the California Highway Patrol, and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. Investigators linked multiple insurance claims to the defendants and identified a corridor of suspected mail theft along Interstate 5 by locating and interviewing the identity theft victims. The investigators traced the money from the fraudulent claims to identify and arrest the charged defendants for this fraud conspiracy.