SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It looked like an accident, but investigators say four Sacramento women plotted a crash for cash.
It’s all part of an insurance fraud case, and detectives say their suspects went to great lengths to execute it.
Fraudulent insurance claims cost about $150 million a year. That cost is passed on to all of us, and in this case, investigators say four women worked together to try and collect some serious cash.
State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Monday that Susan Lee, 24, Angelique Jones, 20, and Angela Medeiros, 40, have been arrested on three felony counts each of insurance fraud. The fourth suspect, Krystelmaree Marquez, 23, also of Sacramento, has an outstanding arrest warrant.
Investigators say the women under arrest conspired to bilk thousands from an insurance company in an elaborate plot.
The plan, detectives say, was to rent a U-Haul truck with the extra insurance coverage that includes a $1 million liability policy and then stage a crash with Lee’s vehicle. Detectives estimated the potential loss to the insurance company at $37,359.
Lee, Jones and Medeiros were booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of insurance fraud, including providing false statements in support of an insurance claim and participating in a vehicle collision for the purpose of submitting a false insurance claim. Authorities said Marquez recently moved and attempts to locate her have been unsuccessful.
According to court documents, the staged collision happened last December and investigators treated it just like any other crash. It wasn’t until they started looked into the suspects’ backgrounds that they realized this may not be just an accident.
The story began to unravel when detectives discovered the women were all Facebook friends.
Still, investigators say the women denied knowing each other. But when detectives started closing in and confronted the driver of the U-haul with the ties they uncovered, she started to talk.
She said, “That night they were talking about doing the accident because Susan didn’t want to pay her car payments (on a Toyota Yaris).”
Now investigators had enough to make the arrests. This family/friend circle, they say, was sharing more than just Facebook.
Investigators are still looking for Marquez, who moved recently moved. If convicted, the women could face up to five years in prison.