Crime - Sacto 911

Staged crash into Rancho Cordova palm tree results in conviction

One man was sentenced and another has fled the country in a case that involved staging a crash into a Rancho Cordova palm tree.

Nairi Kirakosyan was sentenced to 150 days in jail and placed on five years’ probation on Friday for his part in the scheme that involved crashing his vehicle and then trying to collect insurance payment.

Kirakosyan had pleaded no contest on June 3 to felony grand theft.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said that Kirakosyan drove his car into the palm tree on April 9, 2014. An accomplice, Artak Aghajanyan, acted as a lookout and then got into the front passenger seat after the crash, according to prosecutors.

Both men told Rancho Cordova police officers that the crash was caused by another vehicle sideswiping their car, according to the DA’s Office. Both sought medical treatment and were treated by a chiropractor for alleged injury.

The two men hired an attorney and filed a lawsuit against Kirakosyan’s insurance company, Bristol West, for the alleged injuries. They demanded $50,000 from the company.

The insurance company paid Kirakosyan at least $7,000 for the damages to his car but refused to pay for the alleged injuries.

The scheme unraveled when a witness said he saw the crash and Aghajanyan get into the car after the crash. Aghajanyan fled the country and is at large.

The case was investigated by the Sacramento County Auto Theft Task Force and detectives from the state Department of Insurance Urban Auto Fraud Unit. The case was prosecuted by lawyers from the district attorney’s Urban Auto Fraud Unit.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews