Home Video Foils $30K Insurance Fraud Scheme in California

Five defendants now face felony insurance fraud charges.

Image via Shutterstock.

A home surveillance camera became the key piece of evidence in uncovering an alleged insurance fraud scheme involving a staged auto collision by five Southern California residents.

Priscilla Carmona Arajo, Juan Barajas, Gabriella Cervantes, Roberto Carlos Macias and Humberto Ortiz were apprehended on various dates throughout January. Each faces a felony charge of insurance fraud.

Surveillance footage revealed a premeditated crash, where one defendant abandoned a vehicle at an intersection for another to collide into, after which both parties fled the scene.

The plot came to light when Ontario, CA, police responded to a reported collision. A supposed victim at the site claimed to be the target of a hit-and-run, a statement contradicted by witnesses who observed her approaching the vehicles post-collision.

The investigation was led by the Inland Empire Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force, a collaboration among the California Department of Insurance, California Highway Patrol and the San Bernardino and Riverside District Attorney's Offices. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office is leading the prosecution.

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