Two Central Valley, Calif., men have been arrested for allegedly staging the theft of an automobile and committing felony insurance fraud, the California Department of Insurance announced.
According to CDI, Ismael Solis, 27, of Madera, Calif., surrendered at the Fresno County Jail on July 1. Robert Flores, 32, of Fresno, turned himself in on June 25. Both suspects are charged with felony insurance fraud by knowingly presenting a false claim. Flores was additionally charged with falsely reporting a crime. If convicted, could each face up to five years in state prison and/or a fine of $50,000 for each count, plus fines and restitution.
On June 20, 2009, CDI said Flores reported that his 2003 Honda Accord had been stolen from his residence in Fresno. On the same day, the vehicle was found burning in a rural area near Visalia. Flores filed an insurance claim with Victoria Fire and Casualty. The vehicle was a total loss. Flores and the lien holder of the vehicle received approximately $9,100 from the insurance company.
During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that on the night of the reported theft, Solis gave Flores a ride to Visalia, CDI said. Flores reported to have not left his residence after midnight. Investigators discovered that Flores purportedly had left his residence that evening and traveled near Visalia.
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