“Insurance fraud is a widespread problem in California and this country and leads to higher insurance premiums for all of us. Those who commit insurance fraud can pay a hefty price with their freedom and court-ordered restitutions. With today’s technology, detectives can efficiently and effectively sort through false information.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona.
FRESNO— On January 31, 2022, Edwin Saghian, 51, of Tarzana, was arraigned in Fresno on five felony counts of insurance fraud after allegedly setting fire to his own vehicle and then reporting it stolen for an undeserved insurance payout.
His alleged co-conspirator and girlfriend, Clarita Martinez also known as Clarita Bailey, 39, of Fresno, has been charged with one felony count of insurance fraud and is scheduled to be arraigned March 4, 2022.
In January 2020, Saghian reported he drove from the Los Angeles area to Fresno to visit his girlfriend. Following dinner and a trip to a nearby casino, Saghian reported his 2017 Chevy Tahoe stolen. Shortly after, Saghian's Chevy Tahoe was recovered burned by the California Highway Patrol but a vehicle inspection found no signs of forced entry or ignition tampering. The vehicle was declared a total loss of $27,041.
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) revealed inconsistencies with the timeline of events Saghain provided. Detectives found that Saghian and Martinez were discovered to be in the area where Saghian's vehicle was found burned on the evening of the alleged theft. According to the investigation, throughout the claim process, Saghian provided multiple false statements in support of the claim and signed a notarized affidavit of theft.
The investigation found Saghian allegedly drove to the recovery location, dropped off the Chevy Tahoe, set fire to it, reported it stolen, and then filed an insurance claim. It also found that Martinez allegedly conspired with Saghian to commit insurance fraud.
Saghian was arrested on November 30, 2021 and is scheduled to return to court on March 4, 2022.