VENTURA – On April 21, 2023, Leslie Vargas, 21, of Oxnard, pled guilty to one count of insurance fraud. Vargas obtained an automobile insurance policy with Nationwide Insurance Company on August 11, 2021. At the time she applied for the policy, Vargas falsely told the Nationwide representative her vehicle had no pre-existing damage. Once Vargas was covered by the insurance policy, a claim for damages was made and she falsely told Nationwide the damage happened only after the policy was initiated.
The case was investigated by the California Department of Insurance. Investigators determined damages to Vargas’ car were from on or before July 17, 2021, prior to the purchase of the insurance policy.
Vargas is scheduled to be sentenced on May 19, 2023 in Ventura County Superior Court. Automobile insurance fraud is punishable by up to five years in county jail and a fine up to $50,000, or double the amount of fraud, whichever is greater.
“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. This type of illegal activity leads to higher insurance premiums for all of us. California Department of Insurance investigators and detectives work year-round to identify those who submit fraudulent claims that cost all of us money,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.