Calif. Student Arrested in Fraud Case

March 21, 2005

Alisa Louise Yates, 21, and her husband, Gregory Daniel Yates, 25, both of Buttonwillow, were taken into custody last week as a result of investigations by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the California Department of Insurance’s Fraud Division, and the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.

Alisa Yates was arrested for one felony count of causing a fraudulent insurance claim to be presented for payment and one misdemeanor count of false report to a peace officer. Gregory Yates was arrested on one misdemeanor count of false report to a peace officer.

The case is being prosecuted by the Kern County District Attorney’s Auto Insurance Fraud Unit. If convicted on all counts, Alisa Yates, a student at Taft Community College, faces up to five years in state prison and/or a maximum $50,000 penalty. Her husband faces up to one year in county jail if convicted.

According to authorities, on Nov. 24, 2004, Alisa Yates reported to the Kern County Sheriff’s Department that a 2001 Dodge Neon was stolen from her residence. The Dodge Neon was insured with Farmers Insurance. After officers took the auto theft report, the vehicle was located a short distance from the Yates residence. The auto had sustained collision damage to its front and rear.

CHP officers suspected the physical damage to the Neon matched broken tail light lens and paint transfer they had observed in Yates’ driveway. The CHP collision investigation reportedly concluded that Alisa Yates had actually parked the vehicle in the driveway where it was rear-ended by one of the family’s other vehicles, possibly driven by Gregory Yates.

Both Yates were questioned by CHP regarding the reported loss and the damage, and both reportedly denied any knowledge of the collision. Alisa Yates also provided the same statement to Farmers’ Special Investigation Unit.

Ironically, the auto damage would have reportedly been covered by Farmers Insurance had the incident been reported as it apparently occurred.

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