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Operation Car Seats snares family-run ring for alleged auto insurance fraud involving high-end child seats

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: February 27, 2020
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
Operation Car Seats snares family-run ring for alleged auto insurance fraud involving high-end child seats
Suspects allegedly submitted fake car seat receipts and altered bills for higher insurance payouts

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Department of Insurance detectives have arrested seven suspects on 31 felony charges of auto insurance fraud for their alleged involvement in a family-run organized auto fraud ring dubbed Operation Car Seats. Suspects allegedly filed dozens of fraudulent false insurance claims using receipts for high-end child car seats costing an average of $950 each to claim a higher undeserved payout from insurers. The fraud resulted in a nearly $180,000 loss to the insurer.

“The alleged actions by this family-run ring cost every California driver when insurance companies pass along these losses through higher premiums,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “The Department of Insurance is committed to investigating fraud and stopping those who take advantage of the system.”

After receiving a tip from the insurer, the California Department of Insurance launched an investigation which revealed that from 2014 to 2017, alleged ringleader, Lawanda Bogan, 42, of Long Beach, conspired with family members and close friends to file 32 false insurance claims to an insurer totaling $179,106.

The suspects claimed multiple high-end child car seats costing an average of $950 each were in the vehicles at the time of the accidents and submitted fraudulent digitally-altered receipts for the car seats to pad their claims to receive higher, undeserved insurance payouts. The car seats accounted for $77,897 of the insurer’s loss.

The investigation also found that multiple claims were for accidents that never took place, also called “paper collisions.” To further substantiate the alleged fraud, the suspects submitted digitally-altered medical bills and vehicle repair bills.

This case is a part of the Los Angeles County Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force, which is comprised of the California Department of Insurance, California Highway Patrol, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Automobile Insurance Fraud Unit. 

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Media notes:

  • Booking photos
  • Suspects:
  • Lawanda Bogan (42) of Long Beach, CA. Arrested on 02/06/20
    18 Counts of 550(b)(1) - Insurance Fraud.
    Bail: $400,000
  • Jasmine Jackson (31) of Long Beach, CA. Arrested on 02/06/20
    3 Counts of 550(b)(1) - Insurance Fraud.
    Bail: $75,000
  • Anthony Ficklin (37) of Long Beach, CA. Arrested on 02/06/20
    2 Counts of 550(b)(1) - Insurance Fraud.
    Bail: $50,000
  • Cozette Baldwin (58) of Bellflower, CA. Arrested on 02/06/20
    3 Counts of 550(b)(1) - Insurance Fraud.
    Bail: $75,000
  • Natasha Bogan (39) of Bellflower, CA. Arrested on 02/06/20
    5 Counts of 550(b)(1) - Insurance Fraud.
    Bail: $125,000
  • Claudia Nunez (50) of Carson, CA. Arrested on 02/07/20
    7 Counts of 550(b)(1) - Insurance Fraud.
    Bail: $150,000
  • Sherrell Scott (31) of Inglewood, CA. Arrested on 02/11/20
    8 Counts of 550(b)(1) - Insurance Fraud.
    Bail: $200,000

 



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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