Nine Valley residents sentenced in $500,000 auto insurance fraud ring
News: 2017 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In one of the larger auto insurance fraud cases in the Sacramento region, Michael Charles Young, 30, of Sacramento, the leader of a large auto insurance fraud ring was sentenced recently to more than 10 years in state prison for bilking insurance companies out of an estimated $500,000 by filing fraudulent insurance claims.
Detectives are seeking three at-large suspects with outstanding warrants and asking for the public’s help finding them—Jazlyn Ladana Burrell, 20, of Vallejo; Lavina Louise Nunally, 26, and Desiree Patricia Vasquez, 22, both of Sacramento.
“California is ground zero for auto insurance fraud and every policyholder pays for these crimes through higher auto insurance rates,” says Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “This organized crime ring was brought down by the hard work of our detectives and the California Highway Patrol. Our investigative partnerships with law enforcement partners and district attorneys are critical to eradicating insurance fraud.”
An investigation by detectives with the California Department of Insurance and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) uncovered evidence Young and several co-conspirators filed multiple insurance claims totaling an estimated half a million dollars after crashing cars into each other or filing claims on vehicles with existing damage—known as paper collisions. The case is being prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
According to detectives, Young’s ring operated in the Sacramento area between 2014 and early 2016 filing dozens of claims ranging between $5,000 and $40,000 with a number of insurance companies.
“I am proud of the hard work by our investigators to help bring these criminals to justice,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “However, with some suspects still at large, we ask the public’s help to find and arrest them and conclude the case.”
In most cases, false identities were used to register and insure the vehicles used to file claims and accomplices were provided scripts to use when communicating with insurers. Some defendants allowed their identities to be used for compensation and then cashed checks issued in their names. The ring grew as friends and family members were recruited.
Young was arrested in April 2016, and charged with numerous felonies, including insurance fraud, possession of stolen vehicles, identity theft, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
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- If anyone has any information on the three at-large suspects of about this investigation, please contact the Department of Insurance at 916-854-5700.
- At-large suspect photos are available on the Department of Insurance Flickr page
Others arrested and sentenced as part of this investigation included:
- Paris Lache Elliott, 27, of Sacramento - Sentenced to 210 days in county jail with five years of probation.
- Lonnie Gene Thompson, 27, of Sacramento - Sentenced to 100 days in county jail with three years of probation.
- Ladasheza Dorrough (Jackson), 21, of Sacramento – Sentenced to 90 days in county jail and three years of probation.
- Ariel Chanel Graham, 27, of Woodland - Sentenced to 60 days in county jail with three years of probation
- Ebony Rashone Kirk, 37, of Sacramento - Sentenced to 90 days in county jail and three years of probation.
- Melvia Ann Castro, 29, of Sacramento – Sentenced to 90 days in county jail and three years of probation.
- Alyce Marie Peterson, 55, of Woodland – Sentenced to 30 days in county jail and three years of probation.
- Cameron Nunally, 25, of Sacramento – Sentenced to 120 days in county jail and five years of probation.
The cases against the co-defendants listed below are still pending:
- Dwon Maurice Ross, 27, of Sacramento
- Marcellus Belvin Lang, 29, of Sacramento
- Rochelle Edith Virginia Goodwin, 27, of Sacramento
- Erin Kim Elliott, 20, of Elk Grove
- Tiara Kim Elliott, 19, of Sacramento
- Tanisha Jayanna Earnest, 24, of Citrus Heights
Arrest warrants are outstanding for the following suspects who remain at large:
- Jazlyn Ladana Burrell, 20, of Vallejo – issued 7/24/17
- Lavina Louise Nunally, 26, of Sacramento – issued 7/24/17
- Desiree Patricia Vasquez, 22, of Sacramento – 5/24/17
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 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 $394 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.