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CA Department of Insurance

Husband and wife team conspire to commit auto insurance fraud

News: 2014 Press Release

For Release: September 12, 2014
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Husband and wife team conspire to commit auto insurance fraud
Couple claimed their car was stolen when they had actually left it in Mexico

HAWTHORNE, Calif. -Martha Lorena Diaz, 45, and her husband Jesus Caldera,38, were arrested Wednesday for allegedly attempting to defraud their auto insurance company. Diaz faces charges of insurance fraud, perjury and filing a false police report. For his role in corroborating his wife's story, Caldera has been charged with insurance fraud. Both conspirators face jail time and fines.

"This case is a prime example of our successful partnership with insurers in uncovering fraud," said Commissioner Dave Jones. "It was the combined efforts of department investigators and Mercury Insurance that led to this investigation being completed so quickly and efficiently. Had Mercury not identified red flags during the handling of this claim, the loss would have amounted to more than $20,000."

In December 2013, Diaz reported to her insurer and to Hawthorne Police Department that her 2012 Honda truck was stolen. Diaz claimed that while she was out of town on vacation she left her truck parked on a street near her home, and when she returned her truck was no longer there. Caldera corroborated her story to insurance investigators.

During the course of the investigation evidence showed that the truck was not stolen as the couple claimed, but was deliberately left in Mexico by Diaz nearly a month prior to her claim that the truck was stolen while she was on vacation.

Diaz was booked into the LASD Century Regional Detention Center and Caldera was booked into LASD Inmate Reception Center September 10, 2014. This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. 

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Media Notes:

No booking photos available.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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