Two Californians Nabbed for Auto Insurance Fraud

September 14, 2009

Two residents of San Jose, Calif., have been arrested on automobile insurance fraud charges, after one of them attempted to buy insurance immediately after an accident.

“Insurance fraud perpetrators drive up the cost of insurance for everyone,” said state Department of Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, in relation to the case.

The individuals were Juan Carlos Valencia, 24, who was arrested on August 28, and Linda Maria Jenny Jaramillo, 23, who surrendered to authorities on August 31. They face a penalty of up to five years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines.

On May 26, 2009, Jaramillo was involved in a non-injury collison while backing out of a parking space. Valencia was in Jaramillo’s passanger seat.

At the accident scene, the drivers of both vehicles exchanged information, and Jaramillo advised the other driver that she did not have her insurance information with her but would call to share her insurance information when she got home.

Jaramillo and Valencia then allegedly drove to a Geico Insurance office in San Jose to purchase insurance. Shortly after purchasing the policy, Jaramillo called Geico and advised them that she had been in an accident after leaving the office. She then called the driver of the other vehicle and gave him her new insurance information. When Geico began to investigate the suspicious timeline of the accident, Valencia and Jaramillo withdrew the claim. Both Jaramillo and Valencia gave recorded statements to Geico Insurance, and both confessed that they purchased insurance after the accident.

This case is being prosecuted by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

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