Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento-area residents arrested in fraudulent windshield repair operation

Three of six Sacramento-area residents suspected of filing false insurance claims totaling more than $100,000 for windshield repair have been arrested.

The California Department of Insurance’s fraud division today announced that three Sacramento residents, Aaron Bonner, 30, Bonita Clayborn, 39, and Atlakea Scott, 36, were taken into custody. Three other suspects are sought in the case: Darryl Cartwright, 48, of Carmichael, and David Ludd, 25, and Felisha Blackmon, both of Sacramento.

The six are accused of running a “glass harvesting” ring, filing more than 1,000 false insurance claims. The three suspects taken into custody were arrested on suspicion of multiple felony offenses, including grand theft, false personation of another and filing fraudulent insurance claims, according to a Department of Insurance news release. Using actual consumers’ insurance policies, the suspects allegedly submitted fraudulent claims for automobile windshield chip repairs to multiple insurance companies between May 9, 2011, and May 24, 2012.

California Department of Insurance officials said they believe the individuals involved initially operated a legitimate auto glass repair business and completed authorized repairs. The investigation revealed that the suspects retained consumers’ policy information and sometime later allegedly filed additional fraudulent claims on consumers’ policies, without the policyholders’ knowledge.

Authorities advise consumers who had repairs done by Safetek Auto Glass Consulting, Auto Glass Professional and Clear View Autoglass to check with their insurance carrier to make sure no additional, potentially fraudulent claims were filed on their policy.

“This criminal case is a good reminder for consumers to pay close attention to any notifications received from their insurance company,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a written statement, noting that the case essentially involves theft of the consumer’s insurance identity. “Consumers should review their policy claim history annually, upon renewal, to ensure the claim information is accurate. If there are errors or questions about the claim history, consumers should contact their agent or broker immediately and report it to our consumer hotline.”

The Department of Insurance recently awarded $22 million in auto fraud grant funds statewide. The Sacramento Regional Fraud Office administers grants in Northern California totaling $1.3 million for auto fraud for counties, including Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Shasta and Yolo.