More than two dozen charged in staged collision auto insurance fraud scheme
News: 2016 Press Release
FRESNO, Calif. – In one of the largest arrest operations in Fresno history, detectives from the California Department of Insurance, fanned out across the valley and southland areas to arrest more than two dozen people on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud for allegedly staging auto collisions to scam more than four insurance companies out of tens of thousands of dollars.
The suspects allegedly submitted 26 fraudulent insurance claims totaling more than $140,000. Once the insurers paid the claim, the suspects pocketed the proceeds and did not repair damaged vehicles. Department of Insurance detectives, along with Fresno County District Attorney investigators, launched an investigation after receiving suspected fraud referrals from the insurance company. The CSAA Insurance Group was instrumental in assisting detectives with uncovering the fraud.
"California is ground zero for auto insurance fraud," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Insurance fraud costs insurers billions every year and those costs are all passed along to consumers through higher insurance premiums. Bottom line—everyone pays for insurance fraud."
Evidence revealed the suspects orchestrated an elaborate scheme to defraud insurers with paper collisions that never occurred or by intentionally damaging vehicles to submit fraudulent claims. The organized ring recruited some co-conspirators with promises of cash or fixing their previously damaged vehicles. Another element of scheme included stealing people's identities to submit fraudulent claims.
Suspects were booked into the Fresno County Jail. The Fresno County District Attorney is prosecuting this case.
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- As of 5/10/16, 15 suspects are in custody with more arrests to come.
- Arrest photos can be viewed on CDI's Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ca_dept_insurance/albums/72157667803920982
- List of suspects:
|*Artur Ashotovich Grigoryan||32||Fresno (ring leader)|
|*Hakob Ashoti Grigoryan||24||Fresno|
|*Ray Chris Walker||54||Fresno|
|William Lee Jenkins||71||Fresno|
|Ernest James Taylor||37||Fresno|
|Latryce Shaneke Mallory||26||Fresno|
|*Douglas Robert Rose||51||Fresno|
|*Richard Leon Franklin Jr.||36||Fresno|
|*Thomas Elton Finley||39||Fresno|
|Robert Thomas Lyman||37||Fresno|
|Amandeep Singh Sangha||32||Coalinga|
|*Ashley Kae Johnson||29||Fresno|
|Rebeka Ambartsumyan||35||North Hollywood|
|*Douglas Allen Rose||54||Fresno|
|Jessica Walter||27||San Antonio, TX|
* Suspect is in custody
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.