Couple sentenced for insurance fraud in Sacramento crash

A husband and wife have been sentenced after pleading no contest to felony insurance fraud charges stemming from a 2015 hit-and-run crash in Sacramento’s Natomas area.

Michael Bridges, 52, and his wife, Jennifer Brumfield, 50, entered the pleas Wednesday. Bridges also pleaded to felony hit-and run with injuries and Brumfield pleaded to filing a false police report, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

The DA’s Office reported that Bridges was sentenced to three years in state prison, and Brumfield was sentenced to 150 days in county jail and five years probation. Both defendants also were ordered to pay $19,625 in restitution to the victim and the insurance company.

On May 28, 2015, Bridges was driving Brumfield’s car when he rear-ended a car that was stopped for a red light on Truxel Road. The crash totaled both vehicles and left the victim with injuries that still require medical treatment, authorities said.

After the crash, Bridges pulled up to the driver’s side of the car and told the victim, “I didn’t just do that” before driving away without providing his driver’s license or insurance information. The license plate number was obtained by witnesses and the front license plate was left at the scene of the crash.

The following day, Brumfield reported her car stolen to the Sacramento Police Department and filed a claim with her insurance company. Bridges was an excluded driver on Brumfield’s car insurance policy. She stated she had no idea who stole her car and that she still had the only key to the car, authorities said.

The car was found June 26, 2015, a half-mile from defendants’ residence. The vehicle’s transponder anti-theft system was intact and undamaged. The windows were also intact, but the vehicle had major front-end damage, authorities said.

Witnesses identified Bridges as the driver of the hit-and-run vehicle. Cell phone records also indicated that on the day of the crash, Bridges drove Brumfield to work in her car, which was contrary to her story that a nephew had driven her to work.

The case was investigated by the District’s Attorney’s Auto Insurance Fraud Unit.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy