Department of Insurance investigation leads to arrest in arson for hire case
News: 2014 Press Release
LAKEWOOD, Calif. - Gerardo Guerrero, 27, was arrested May 9, 2014 for allegedly hiring a third party to dispose of his vehicle and then turning in the insurance claim in an attempt to defraud his insurer for $45,000. After admitting to his insurer what transpired, Guerrero avoided law enforcement and investigators before eventually being arrested.
"My department's investigators work tirelessly in their effort to pursue and arrest individuals who try to cheat the system, even when they prove to be extremely uncooperative with law enforcement," said Commissioner Jones. "Over the last three years we have arrested nearly 900 criminals for committing auto fraud. With the continued efforts of my enforcement team, we are sending a message that if you commit insurance fraud, you will get caught."
The department's investigation revealed that Guerrero paid a friend $500 to dispose of his 2004 BMW 745i because Guerrero could no longer afford the vehicle. According to department investigators, Guerrero admitted to Mercury Insurance that he intentionally had his vehicle destroyed.
Guerrero was booked into the Los Angeles County Lakewood Sheriff Station, and is being charged with one felony count of insurance fraud. If convicted Guerrero faces a maximum of five years in prison.
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. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.