An Orange County couple was recently arrested for allegedly filing a fraudulent police report and insurance claim for an automobile accident and, when the claim was rejected, filing a complaint that accused the Tustin Police Department of lying and racism, according to state officials.
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) does not include the specific cities Lamont Goodwin, 33, and Sylvia Camarillo, 31, reside in, but the state agency reports both of them face multiple felony charges of insurance fraud.
"Trying to cover your tracks and recover uninsured losses by filing a fraudulent claim is a life-altering mistake," says state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in a statement. "Let this be an example that insurance fraud is a serious crime that will likely lead to your arrest and possible time in jail."
Goodwin was involved in an auto accident that totaled the vehicle he was inside of in May 2016, according to a report taken by the responding officers from the Tustin Police Department.
However, afterward a claim filed with Camarillo's insurer stated that her domestic partner Goodwin had been a passenger and that she was the driver, according to the CDI.
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The insurance company—the CDI did not disclose which one—rejected the claim because only Camarillo, and not Goodwin, were covered by the policy and the police report stated that he had been the driver. However, before the insurer received the police report, it paid $18,000 to the credit union that held a lien on the totaled vehicle.
After the claim was denied, Camarillo and Goodwin filed a complaint with the Tustin Police Department accusing the responding officers of racism and lying on the police report, sparking an internal affairs investigation.
"Suspecting fraud, the insurance company and the Tustin Police Department reached out to CDI, which launched a fraud investigation that determined Goodwin was, in fact, the driver and Camarillo was not in the car at all or at the scene," reads the CDI statement. "Both Goodwin and Camarillo allegedly conspired to file a fraudulent claim so the insurance company would pay for damages that were not covered under the conditions of the policy. The investigation also uncovered that the pair filed a false police report accusing the Tustin police officers of lying on the original traffic report."
Goodwin and Camarillo were booked into the Orange County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bail each. The Orange County District Attorney's office is prosecuting, says the CDI.