Trio Arrested for Reported Involvement in Calif. Auto Fraud Scam

November 1, 2002

Investigators with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Organized Auto Fraud Interdiction Task Force arrested a Rio Linda woman, along with her former common-law husband and his brother-in-law on multiple charges of auto insurance fraud and conspiracy.

On Oct. 28, Helena Marie Walker, 38, and Floyd Russell Smith, 40, were arrested at their residences, while Ricky Dale Lewis, 35, through various leads, was located and arrested at a North Sacramento business. All three were booked into the Sacramento County Jail and bail was set at $30,000 each. If convicted, each could face up to five years in state prison and/or a maximum fine of $50,000.

On April 11, 2002, the Nationwide Property and Casualty Company Special Investigations Unit contacted CDI’s Fraud Division with information that Walker had reported being injured in a collision in Sacramento on November 26, 2001. Lewis, Walker’s common-law husband, reportedly confessed he was the driver at the time of the collision. Lewis reportedly stated that following the collision he spoke to the other drivers and then walked away from the scene to call Walker. Walker arrived with Lewis’ brother-in-law, Smith within minutes and told Lewis that she would take care of everything.

Walker allegedly had Smith switch jackets with Lewis to distract the witnesses. Walker then walked over to her vehicle, took out the insurance information, and contacted a Sacramento Police Officer that had just arrived on scene. She told the officer she was the driver of her vehicle and had been badly injured. Walker was transported, via ambulance, to a hospital.

Walker’s insurance claim was denied by Allied Nationwide Insurance Companies, which could have resulted in a potential loss of $5,000.

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