The State Worker

Cal Fire captain accused of insurance fraud

Neal Moriarty, left, and his brother Ross Moriarty have been charged with insurance fraud.
Neal Moriarty, left, and his brother Ross Moriarty have been charged with insurance fraud. California Department of Insurance

A Cal Fire captain and his brother have been arrested for filing a false insurance claim and giving false statements to a automobile insurer to collect money on a wrecked vehicle that wasn’t covered.

Neal Moriarty, 38, and Ross Moriarty, 42, a licensed insurance agent, were booked last week into the Santa Cruz County and San Luis Obispo County jails, respectively. Bail for each man is set at $120,000 and they face up to three years in prison.

According to the California Department of Insurance, Neal Moriarty was driving in an uninsured vehicle on April 14, 2014, when he hit a deer on Highway 101 near Camp Roberts in San Luis Obispo County. He was uninjured, but his personal vehicle suffered “significant damage,” a department press release states. He was not on duty and, according to an accident report, was driving a 2007 Toyota Tacoma truck.

Neal Moriarty called from the accident site to his brother Ross, who allegedly used his position to reinstate insurance on the automobile, the department says, then the two men created a false timeline of events and filed a $13,709 claim with the insurer.

The scheme broke down, according to the Insurance Department, when investigators grew suspicious and asked Neal Moriarty for phone records. He failed to provide them and a month later withdrew his claim.

Neal Moriarty, a Morro Bay resident, is stationed at Camp Lomond Conservation Camp about 12 miles outside Santa Cruz. He was arrested there Wednesday after his shift ended, an Insurance Department spokeswoman said.

Ross Moriarty, who lives in Los Osos, was arrested the same day. The Insurance Department is seeking to revoke his insurance license.