Nearly two dozen people in Santa Clara County are facing allegations of operating a “family and friends” auto insurance fraud ring.
Seven people were arrested on Tuesday for alleged insurance fraud and conspiracy. Multiple agencies participated in the arrests, including the San Jose Police Department, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol.
Authorities have named the suspected ringleader as a 34-year-old San Jose resident. According to the California Department of Insurance, the ringleader allegedly organized a four-year fraud scheme involving at least 40 different vehicles, which netted over $174,000.
The fraud was first uncovered as a result of a damage inspection that was inconsistent with claims of an accident. Detectives later learned that the same damages had been reported in previous incidents under different ownership.
Further investigation uncovered insurance policies allegedly purchased with false identities and other repeat damage claims.
A total of 23 people are now being held on suspicion of participating in the alleged scheme.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.
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