In Santa Clara County auto insurers were scammed by a huge number of their policyholders.
According to the Office of the District Attorney in Santa Clara County, there were 33 people involved in a tremendous insurance fraud scam, as they deliberately crashed older cars into each other in order to be able to file claims.
The insurance companies were the victims of an alleged scam that had them paying for the deliberate crashes.
The majority of the defendants were from San Jose. Each of them has now been charged with felony insurance fraud. Some of the suspects in the case have already made their court appearances as of last Thursday. Every one of them will be facing prison time if they end up being convicted of the charges that are being laid against them, say prosecutors in this case.
The insurance fraud arrests have occurred as a result of a broad scale investigation launched three years go.
The investigation went under the name of “coffee break” and involved the participation of multiple agencies that examined the potential for insurance scams in these claims. The nickname was given to the effort because the suspects in the case frequently claimed that they had lost control of their vehicles when they accidentally spilled their coffee onto themselves. This led them to crash their vehicles, requiring that the claims be made.
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The investigation of the scam was conducted by an auto insurance task force that included detectives from the California Highway Patrol, the California Department of Insurance, and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
An investigator from the California Highway Patrol spotted the scam when it was noticed that there were several auto insurance crash claims that had a similar type of pattern. When it was examined more closely, it was revealed that there had been even more claims of that nature running from 2010 through 2012 and that nearly all of them had occurred within Santa Clara County. Another common factor that was identified was that each of the suspects in the insurance fraud case had also purchased their policies not long before the crashes actually occurred.