SAN BERNARDINO— On October 29, 2020 the California Department of Insurance announced that Michael Lynn Cooper, 55, of Ontario, was charged with multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and grand theft after allegedly misrepresenting the facts of a collision to his insurance company in order to receive an undeserved payout after he was street racing.
In April 2020, Cooper reported an automobile collision to his insurance company that claimed his 2016 Dodge Challenger was sideswiped when another vehicle was trying to race him. The collision caused him to lose control and hit a building resulting in debris damage to two other vehicles. Cooper’s insurance company paid $35,321 for his claim.
In May 2020, Cooper’s insurance company referred the case to the Department of Insurance after receiving video showing what appeared to be Cooper street racing before the collision.
An investigation by the Department of Insurance, with assistance from the Ontario Police Department, resulted in charges against Cooper for street racing and driving more than100 mph prior to the collision. Street racing is an exclusion of coverage under his insurance policy. The alleged fraud resulted in a $35,321 loss to the insurance company.
“There are a lot of hard-working families in California who struggle to pay insurance premiums for coverage for their automobiles. Those who commit insurance fraud are hurting all of us, causing our premiums to go up,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Thank you to the California Department of Insurance investigators and detectives who work year-round to investigate those committing insurance fraud in this state.”
Cooper is also being charged with Vehicle Code violations for street racing and giving false statements to a peace officer. He self-surrendered on October 28, 2020.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office – Automobile Insurance Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.