Crime - Sacto 911

Son crashed car; dad reported it stolen. Now both are going to jail.

A father and son have been sentenced to jail after pleading no contest to auto insurance fraud.

Harpreet Singh and his father, Satnam Singh, pleaded no contest to felony auto insurance fraud and to a misdemeanor offense of making a false report to police. Harpreet Singh also pleaded no contest to felony hit and run with injuries, according to a Sacramento County Distinct Attorney’s Office news release.

On Sept. 2, 2015, Harpreet Singh caused a major vehicle crash while driving an Acura registered to his father. The crash injured the driver of the one the cars involved. Harpreet Singh fled the crash scene but was followed by witnesses who reported his license plate number to police.

Harpreet Singh then abandoned the car and walked to his gym to call his father, who picked him up and took him home, authorities said.

An hour later, Satnam Singh called police and reported that his car had been stolen from his house. He also claimed he had no children and that no one else ever drove his car. Satnam Singh also filed an insurance claim for the allegedly stolen Acura. Before discovering the claim was a fraud, the insurance company, CSAA, paid Satnam Singh approximately $22,000, authorities said.

CHP officers investigating the incident spoke to one of Satnam Singh’s neighbors, who showed them surveillance video of Harpreet Singh driving the Acura away from the house on the morning of the crash.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Curtis Fiorini on Tuesday sentenced Harpreet Singh to 270 days in jail and five years formal probation. Satnam Singh was sentenced to 240 days in jail and five years formal probation. Both men were ordered to pay $26,240 in restitution to CSAA – the cost of the payout on the claim plus investigative costs – $9,041 to Allstate Insurance for the cost of claims paid to its insured drivers and restitution to the other drivers involved in the crash.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy