Calif. Couple Arrested on Three Felony Counts of Fraud

Samantha M. Dean, 37, and Artemus M. Steele, 27, both of Sacramento, were arrested and booked into the Sacramento County Jail on three felony counts each of insurance fraud. Bail for each was set at $5,000. If convicted, they each could face up to five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $50,000. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.

According to California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigators, in March 2002, Dean allegedly filed a fraudulent insurance claim with USAA to receive benefits for damage to her vehicle. Dean alleged she damaged the vehicle on both sides as she was pulling into her garage. Her husband, Steele, reportedly told a local auto body shop he damaged the vehicle in a car wash and needed an estimate because the car wash was going to pay for damages. The body shop determined the damages Steele pointed out to them were consistent with damages done by striking a garage. Dean was later interviewed by USAA and admitted to filing a false insurance claim.