Bay Area Residents Arrested on Fraud Charges

April 4, 2002

The California Department of Insurance Fraud Division has arrested Antioch resident Rudolfo Villasenor, 28, for felony insurance fraud and possession of dangerous drugs/narcotics, along with Ruben Rodriguez, Jr., 25, of Oakley for felony insurance fraud and possession of a stolen handgun and possession of dangerous drugs/narcotics. A third suspect, Catalina Rodriguez, 21, was arrested for felony insurance fraud.

The investigation, conducted in cooperation with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) revealed Catalina Rodriguez, shortly after insuring her 1992 Nissan with Progressive Insurance, allegedly committed insurance fraud when she falsified a claim after reporting her car was stolen from her place of employment. Rodriguez claimed that her vehicle had $5,000 worth of tires and wheels on it when it was stolen. When the vehicle was found, investigators concluded the vehicle’s ignition system and steering wheel locking mechanism had not been tampered with to indicate theft.

Catalina Rodriguez submitted a retail receipt to Progressive for the purchase of the tires and wheels; however, a further investigation determined the receipt was allegedly stolen from Kool Design in Modesto and the signature on it was forged. Additionally, it was discovered that while Villasenor, owner of Bay Area Auto Sales who claimed to have sold the tires and wheels to Catalina Rodriguez was a wholesale customer of Kool Design; he had in fact allegedly not purchased those tires and wheels and sold them to Catalina Rodriguez.

Investigators concluded the three suspects allegedly conspired to commit insurance fraud, and all three are currently in custody.

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