Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:42

Father and Son Arrested For Auto Insurance Fraud

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced June 24 the arrests of Ruben Andrade Sr., 48; his son, Ruben Andrade Jr., 18; Cristina Ramirez, 20; and Gustavo Hernandez, 20; all of Sacramento, in connection with insurance fraud charges.

Hernandez was arrested at his Sacramento residence on June 19. Andrade Sr., his son Ruben, and Ramirez turned themselves into authorities on June 20. All individuals were booked into Sacramento County Jail.

“It does not pay to purposely vandalize or destroy your vehicle to cash in on insurance money,” said Commissioner Poizner. “Breaking the law to make a buck will put you behind bars and cost you thousands of dollars.” 

A Sacramento County Urban Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force investigation revealed that in September 2008, Ruben Andrade Sr. filed a vehicle loss claim with his insurance company for alleged vandalism of his vehicle and theft of his wheels and tires. Ruben Andrade Jr. and Cristina Ramirez recorded statements with the auto insurance company that the 2005 Chrysler 300 was vandalized where it was parked at their residence sometime during the night while they were asleep. Ramirez, Ruben Andrade Jr. and Sr. all gave statements to the insurance company that they had no knowledge of who committed this crime and that they were not responsible for loss and damages.

In June 2009, the Auto Fraud Task Force discovered that Ruben Andrade Sr. allegedly conspired with his son and Cristina Ramirez to stage the vandalism of his vehicle at their apartment complex, with the assistance of Gustavo Hernandez, who allegedly removed the tires and wheels. Potential loss total for Andrade’s claim is approximately $13,950. 

This case is being prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. 

The Sacramento County Urban Auto Fraud Task Force is comprised of investigators from the California Department of Insurance, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and the California Highway Patrol.  The Auto Task Force, which has been in operation since 2001, targets any form of organized auto insurance fraud, including staged theft and vandalism rings, staged auto accident rings and other types of organized insurance fraud.   

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