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CA Department of Insurance

San Diego man nabbed for masterminding insurance fraud scheme

News: 2015 Press Release

For Release: April 13, 2015
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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San Diego man nabbed for masterminding insurance fraud scheme
Text messages revealed scammers’ plan

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Coltin Barody, 26, of Lake Elsinore, was arrested last week on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud by the San Diego Urban Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force after he allegedly conspired to defraud Progressive Insurance Company out of $13,000. He is being arraigned on Tuesday, April 14 at the San Diego Superior Court, Central Division, County Courthouse in Department 12.

Barody allegedly coached his nephew, Jacob Holloway, 20, also of San Diego, on how to submit a fraudulent claim, after Holloway's motorcycle was stolen from his apartment complex. According to investigators, Holloway had a loan on the motorcycle but only carried liability insurance, which meant he had no insurance claim and was still responsible for the remainder of the loan.

Barody was the alleged mastermind behind a plan to increase coverage on the motorcycle, after the theft occurred and then fabricated the timeline and location of the theft to make sure Holloway could collect on the loss. Holloway and his wife, Melinda Minshall, 21, of San Diego, went along with the scheme by lying to Progressive representatives and received $13,000 not owed to them. During the investigation, text messages revealed the theft occurred before Holloway increased coverage and filed the claim.

"This case serves as a reminder that fraud is a costly crime for insurers and consumers," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "These crimes are an expensive drain on the state's economy totaling billions annually. The cost of these scams is passed along to consumers through higher rates and premiums."

For his role in corroborating his nephew's story, Barody was charged with insurance fraud and faces up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine if convicted. Holloway and Minshall are also being charged with insurance fraud and were issued notices to appear in court.

Barody was booked into San Diego Central Jail and his bail is set at $25,000. The San Diego District Attorney's Office is prosecuting this case.

Media Notes:

  • The potential loss to the insurance company was estimated at approximately $15,500, which doesn't include the investigative cost associated with these fraudulent investigations. 
  • The Department of Insurance Urban Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force is charged with investigating organized auto insurance fraud rings. The multi-agency Task Force consists of California Department of Insurance investigators, the San Diego District Attorney's Office and the California Highway Patrol. 
  • Insurance fraud is a felony: information on insurance fraud, the various types and the cost to consumers. 

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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