California insurance commissioner Steve Poizner announced that three people, including a mother and son, have been arrested and charged with auto insurance fraud and vehicle arson.
Authorities say the two related suspects filed false reports about the theft of a vehicle, a 1998 Ford Expedition. But a witness contacted the Sacramento County Urban Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force with information regarding a possible staged vehicle theft and arson.
"Torching your car in an attempt to cash in on an insurance policy will not pay off - in fact, it will put you in jail," said commissioner Poizner. "Teams of automobile fraud experts at the department of insurance are trained to quickly recognize these kinds of crimes. If you commit insurance fraud in California, we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will help put you behind bars."
The suspects have been charged with felony counts of insurance fraud, conspiracy, arson of property and falsely reporting a crime. A third suspected was charged with felony arson of property and one felony count of conspiracy for setting the vehicle on fire.
All three individuals could face up to five years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, the insurance department said.
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