LoJack signal on reported stolen car reveals organized insurance fraud ring
News: 2018 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Detectives from the California Department of Insurance, arrested four people early this morning for allegedly ripping off four auto insurers for more than $34,000 by filing fraudulent insurance claims. One additional suspect was taken into custody Thursday, November 15, 2018. All suspects were booked into the Sacramento County Jail.
Investigated by the Urban Auto Fraud Task Force, which is supervised and led by the California Department of Insurance Enforcement Branch and includes the California Highway Patrol and Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, which will prosecute the suspects, the case involves suspects attempting to collect from their auto insurer by falsely claiming their vehicles were stolen when in fact were found in the possession of an accomplice who owned an auto body repair shop.
“Our multi-agency task force has proven very effective in investigating and prosecuting organized insurance crime rings,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “These crimes hurt every consumer, because in the end we all pay for these crimes through higher insurance premiums.”
The seventh suspect and ring leader, Hector Whitley, owned the body shop, located in Sacramento County and was arrested in 2016 after Rancho Cordova Police and the Sacramento County Sheriff traced a stolen vehicle’s LoJack signal to his body shop where they found several suspicious vehicles partially dismantled and stripped.
The California Highway Patrol’s auto theft investigation team was called in to serve a search warrant and discovered additional vehicles reported stolen, weapons and illegal drugs in the shop.
Dylan Allen Dudley, owner of the original vehicle reported stolen admitted to investigators he filed a false police report in an attempt to get his insurance company to pay the claim for his vehicle.
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- Total number of felony counts charged: 13
- Photo from the arrest
Dylan Allen Dudley of Citrus Heights – in custody
Michele Marlynda Espinoza of Sacramento – at large and being sought
Oscar Fernando Gonzalez of Sacramento – in custody
Romit Rajesh Prasad of Sacramento – in custody
Dillan James Schimp of Orangevale – in custody
Shanil Kumar Shankar of Sacramento – in custody
Already convicted and sentenced to prison. Hector Whitley is now released and serving time on parole.
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 www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.