Calif. Mother Arrested in “Stuffed Passenger” Auto Insurance Accident Case

December 22, 2004

Ebony Kirk, 25, of Sacramento, was arrested and booked into the Sacramento County Jail for falsely reporting herself as a passenger in an auto accident occurring on Aug. 19, 2003. She was charged with four felony counts of insurance fraud and could face up to five years in state prison and a maximum fine of $150,000. Bail was set at $5,000 for Kirk, the mother of a 6-year-old.

The case, being prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office, was investigated by the California Department of Insurance Fraud Division (CDI) as part of an ongoing statewide investigation of insurance fraud and false insurance claims filing.

“This arrest shows that time and time again the Department of Insurance, working in tandem with local law enforcement and insurance industry partners, will discover the fraud and you will be prosecuted,” said Commissioner John Garamendi.

Ebony Kirk reported to 21st Century Insurance that she had received injuries resulting from the accident and began treatment with a doctor. Her insurance company later settled Kirk’s claim paying her $2,400 in medical benefits. After further investigation, Kirk admitted in a recorded statement to fraud investigators that she was a “stuffed passenger,” a fictitious passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

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