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CA Department of Insurance
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CA Department of Insurance

Three suspects at large in Sacramento-area auto fraud scheme

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: September 15, 2020
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Three suspects at large in Sacramento-area auto fraud scheme
One suspect self-surrendered for alleged involvement

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Three suspects are at large after being charged with insurance fraud and conspiracy for their alleged involvement in an automobile insurance fraud scheme where they staged vehicle damage in order to submit bogus vandalism claims for undeserved insurance payouts.

After receiving a referral from GEICO, the Department of Insurance launched an investigation that resulted in Malissa Anne Nuckles, 39, of Antelope, admitting she submitted a false vandalism claim involving her 2003 BMW that she recently purchased from a Sacramento used car dealership, Abe’s Motorsports. The BMW was covered in scratches that led to the totaling of the vehicle.

David Mohammadi, 37, of Sacramento, from Abe's Motorsports sent GEICO the sales contract for the BMW. The investigation found that the vehicle was on the dealership lot for approximately two years prior to being sold to Nuckles and that the dealership was likely trying to eliminate old inventory.

During the investigation, Nuckles admitted that the vandalism was staged and that Mohammadi directed her in filing the claim. Nuckles also disclosed that her husband, Jeffrey Combs, 54, worked as a mechanic for Abe’s Motorsports.

Department detectives later discovered Combs filed a similar vandalism claim where his 2006 Chevy Cobalt sustained numerous panel scratches that totaled the car. Combs also allegedly purchased the car from Mohammadi. In Combs’ claim, GEICO never became suspicious and Abe’s Motorsports received the insurance settlement. Mohammadi and the owner of Abe's Motorsports, Ayoub Shawesh, 34, are suspected of defrauding GEICO in this prior claim.

Mohammadi self-surrendered and was booked into Sacramento County Main Jail. The three remaining suspects - Nuckles, Combs, and Shawesh - are still at large. If anyone has any information regarding the at-large suspects please contact the Department of Insurance at 916-854-5744.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $371 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 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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