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Three arrested in Newberry Springs towing company’s alleged insurance fraud scheme

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: October 23, 2020
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
Three arrested in Newberry Springs towing company’s alleged insurance fraud scheme

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Towing company owners Bandar "Charlie" Albadawi, 57, and Sleiman "Slim" Zeinaty, 59, along with their employee Shelley Blowers, 50, were arrested on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and filing false documents after allegedly altering tow records to further a client’s false insurance claim.

Albadawi and Zeinaty are co-owners of All Desert Towing, a commercial tow company, which at the time, participated in the California Highway Patrol Rotation Tow Program for San Bernardino County. A joint investigation by the California Department of Insurance and the CHP Investigative Services Unit found that Albadawi, Zeinaty, and Blowers falsified a tow bill for a commercial vehicle with a trailer attached that burned in the Barstow area.

The trailer was not insured at the time of the loss, so the tow company allegedly created a fake tow record in order to substantiate their client’s false insurance claim.

Albadawi and Zeinaty also allegedly forged California Tow Truck Association training certificates and then submitted those to the CHP as part of the Rotation Tow Program. All Desert Towing in no longer a part of CHP’s program.

The Department of Insurance and CHP arrested the subjects on October 13, 2020, and they were booked into the Needles Jail and the West Valley Detention Center. The San Bernardino 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 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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