Branden Heywood, 30, of Chino, Calif., has been charged with 39 counts of insurance fraud after an investigation found he allegedly acted as the leader of a ‘collision’ ring of paper” to collect over $80,000 in insurance payments.
Accidents in a “paper collision” have never happened, and the perpetrators instead use false documents to commit fraud.
The California Department of Insurance’s Inland Empire Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force investigation allegedly found that Heywood was using his identity and the identity of others, including the identity of his minors, to arrange fake collisions by submitting fictitious medical records and then editing California Highway Patrol. collision reports to insurance companies to collect insurance payouts.
The investigation also reportedly revealed that Heywood recruited people on social media to say they had been passengers in the fake crashes. As a result, five additional suspects from the Inland Empire area have been charged with criminal insurance fraud.
Heywood was also charged with possession of two assault weapons, which were seized from his residence by the task force during a search warrant.
Heywood remains in custody. Bail is set at $150,000. The case is being prosecuted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.
California car fraud
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