SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Seventeen additional defendants have been arraigned for their alleged involvement in an organized auto insurance fraud ring where dealers purchased damaged vehicles and then filed inflated claims and even staged thefts, costing insurers an approximately $822,000 loss. Four people have already been sentenced in the multi-agency investigation dubbed Operation Dealer’s Choice, and 32 defendants have been charged or prosecuted in total.
The case was investigated by the San Diego County Organized Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force made up of the California Department of Insurance, San Diego District Attorney’s Office and California Highway Patrol.
Operation Dealer’s Choice began after the San Diego District Attorney’s Office received a consumer call claiming the ring was purchasing vehicles at local auto auctions and filing fraudulent total damage or theft claims to receive unearned payouts from insurance carriers.
NICB assisted this investigation.