Investigators with the fraud unit of the California Department of Insurance have reportedly arrested five Sacramento residents on felony counts of insurance fraud. The fraud charges allegedly stem from the five accessing consumer account information to discover which customers had expensive cell phones and then filing false claims for the phones being stolen or damaged. Investigators claim that the five individuals, some of whom worked for wireless companies, took over $1 million in fraudulent insurance payments through the scheme.
Investigators allege that the accused people had phones shipped to their homes and the homes of their friends to replace the allegedly stolen or damaged items. Bail was set at $50,000 for two of the accused and $25,000 for the others. Each person involved has been charged with a single felony count of conspiracy as well as a felony count of grand theft along with 29 felony counts of filing a fraudulent insurance claim.
Insurance fraud can result in serious charges against those accused of this crime. Most fraud charges are felonies although in some cases, the severity of the charge can be related to the amount that investigators allege was stolen. Conspiracy is also a serious charge as it suggests that the accused people planned the scheme rather than becoming unwitting victims of others.
A criminal defense attorney may represent those who are accused of insurance fraud, theft and other felonies. Those who are accused of these types of crimes may face serious penalties that could include extended jail time and hefty fines. It is important that individuals accused of these types of crimes protect their rights and have aggressive representation if necessary to secure a fair trial or a beneficial plea agreement to the charges.
Source: Sacramento Business Journal, "Five arrested in alleged $1M insurance fraud", Mark Anderson, May 17, 2013