The California Department of Insurance (CDI) announced the sentencing of a Palm Springs man after pleading guilty to one count of insurance fraud.
James Keith Simpson was sentenced to five years in state prison by the Indio Superior Court, and was also ordered to pay $11,128.84 in restitution to Mercury Insurance Company. Charges of extortion and witness tampering charges were dismissed against Simpson because of his guilty plea.
The CDI Criminal Investigations Branch’s Fraud Division’s investigation revealed that Simpson reportedly tried to con Mercury Insurance by enhancing damage he received to his vehicle after a collision. After Simpson received a settlement for the damage, he then allegedly reported his car stolen.
The collision occurred on March 5, 2001, and a Riverside County Deputy Sheriff took photographs of the vehicle at the scene of the accident. When Simpson reported the accident to Mercury on the following day, a representative also photographed the vehicle two days later.
A comparison of the photos from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and Mercury Insurance revealed that the damage to the vehicle had been reportedly enhanced in Simpson’s attempts to have his vehicle appear totaled.
Mercury settled the claim with Simpson for a total of $11,128. Simpson later reported the vehicle stolen, but the investigation revealed that Simpson reportedly sold the vehicle after receiving the original claim from Mercury.
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