California Sergeant Arrested on Insurance Fraud

April 23, 2009

Joseph A. Torrez of Sacramento, Calif., has been arrested at his place of employment, Folsom State Prison, and booked into the Sacramento County Jail on insurance fraud charges, the California Department of Insurance reported. If convicted, Torrez could face up to five years in state prison and up to $50,000 in fines.

On March 9, the National Insurance Fraud Crime Bureau contacted the Sacramento County Urban Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force with information regarding the possible location of a stolen motorcycle. State Farm Insurance Co. had previously paid approximately $18,654 for a loss claim on the motorcycle. An anonymous caller contacted the insurance company, alerting them that insurance fraud had allegedly been committed, CDI said.

The Auto Task Force discovered that Torrez claimed his 2005 custom motorcycle had been stolen from a garage in Sacramento County on August 5, 2008. He claimed that when he arrived at his mother’s home, the yard gate was ajar, and the roll-up door to the garage where he stored his motorcycle was open. Torrez claimed he discovered his motorcycle had been taken from the garage where it was housed. Torrez reported the theft to his insurance company on August 5, 2008.

In March 2009, the anonymous informant led the Auto Task Force to the location of the motorcycle at a home in Galt. The motorcycle was seized.

The case is being prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

The Sacramento County Urban Fraud Task Force is comprised of investigators from the California Department of Insurance, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and the California Highway Patrol. The Auto Task Force, which has been in operation since 2001, targets any form of organized auto insurance fraud, including staged theft and vandalism rings, staged auto accident rings and other types of organized insurance fraud.

Source: CDI

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