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Four in custody for alleged involvement in Sacramento

News: 2019 Press Release

For Release: June 21, 2019
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
Four in custody for alleged involvement in Sacramento organized auto insurance fraud ring

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Detectives from the California Department of Insurance have arrested Ameer Almassou, Bariq Aleyada, and Ziad Jaber Jaber for allegedly ripping off auto insurers for more than $22,000 by filing fraudulent insurance claims. One additional suspect, Muhamed El Gererey, self-surrendered yesterday.

The scheme involved owners and associates of Habib Auto Sales, Ocean Auto Sales, and Rusul Auto Sales who allegedly bought damaged vehicles from auto auctions and staged collisions or damage with those vehicles in an attempt to collect fraudulent insurance payouts.

In one example, a suspect reported his 2015 Dodge was stolen, found burned and determined a total loss. He then reported the alleged theft to his insurance carrier and claimed he bought the car for about $12,000 from his own auto dealership. The investigation revealed the car was actually bought at an auto auction and it was already totaled.

In another example, a suspect bought a 2007 BMW with mechanical issues at an auto auction. That same day another suspect reported a solo vehicle collision to his insurer and claimed he bought the same 2007 BMW from a dealership. His insurer accepted the claim and paid him approximately $9,295 for his alleged collision.

One of the suspects submitted another insurance claim to a different insurer for a 2013 Mercedes and received an insurance payout for approximately $11,685. He claimed that two hours after purchasing the car he was involved in a three-vehicle collision. To corroborate this claim, another suspect provided a sales contract to the insurer even though the car was actually bought at an auto auction for less than what the contract listed.

Three of the suspects were taken into custody without incident and booked into the Sacramento County main jail on June 18, 2019. The fourth suspect self-surrendered to the Sacramento County main jail on
June 20, 2019.

This case was investigated by the Sacramento Urban Auto Fraud Task Force, which is supervised and led by the California Department of Insurance Enforcement Branch. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.

 

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Media Notes:

  • Booking photos available
  • Ameer Almassou, 29, owner of Habib Auto Sales, was charged with Penal Codes 550(a)(1), 451(d), and 548(a). 
  • Ziad Jaber Jaber, 31, with assistance of Ocean Auto Sales, was charged with Penal Code 550(a)(1). 
  • Bariq Aleyada, 33, who works at Ocean Auto Sales, filed two claims and was charged with Penal Code 550(a)(1).
  • Muhamed El Gererey, 38, of Rusul Auto Sales, assisted Aleyada in the furtherance of a fraudulent insurance claim, and was charged with Penal Codes 550(a)(1) and 550(a)(5). 


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.

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