Couple Sentenced in Fraud Scam

April 24, 2003

Nevada Attorney General Brian Sandoval announced that District Court Judge John S. McGroarty sentenced Basheba and Cedric Peoples, both 35, of Las Vegas, for their reported involvement in an internal insurance fraud scheme victimizing California State Automobile Association, CSAA.

Both defendants were sentenced to nine months in the County Jail and the term of incarceration suspended, provided: both pay restitution to CSAA (Basheba $1,000.00 and Cedric $2,350.00); each must reimburse the AG’s Insurance Fraud Unit (IFU) $1,000.00 in investigative costs; each must also complete Impulse Control Counseling.

Neither of the defendants has a prior criminal record, and both accepted responsibility for their actions upon contact by the IFU.

In Aug. 2000, the investigative firm of Bland & Rodarte, while conducting a routine internal audit for CSAA, discovered the fraud. Subsequent investigation by the Insurance Fraud Unit revealed that Guy Mitchell Sheets, a licensed insurance agent and Regional Supervisor with CSAA, along with Deborah Marie Bray, a Claims Adjuster under Sheets’ supervision, reportedly created approximately 20 false insurance claims, defrauding CSAA of over $180,000.00 during an 18-month period.

The conspiracy reportedly involved Sheets and Bray recruiting 14 other individuals and “packing” them into accident claims in which they had no actual involvement. Both Sheets and Bray were fired from CSAA and Sheets had his insurance license revoked.

Sheets and Bray have already been sentenced on their felony charges, as have most of the others participants. The IFU has obtained guilty pleas from 13 out of the 17 defendants charged; the remaining four are scheduled for trial in July.

Basheba and Cedric Peoples were reportedly recruited by Deborah Marie Bray.

Bray fraudulently entered information into CSAA databases to make it reportedly appear that the Peoples had been involved in a legitimate claim and issued checks to each, which they subsequently cashed.

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