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5 people accused of staging hit-and-run in suspected auto insurance fraud

Five people are facing stiff penalties after being accused of staging a hit-and-run crash in an attempt to reap insurance benefits in Ontario, according to police.

Home surveillance footage shows a collision at an intersection in what appeared to be a residential neighborhood. A closer look at the video shows the driver of a white SUV exiting the vehicle after it stops in the middle of an intersection. Moments later, a black SUV slams into it and its driver ditching that vehicle.

According to the California Department of Insurance, investigators arrested five people in connection with the crash. The following individuals face charges that include auto insurance fraud:

  • Priscilla Carmona Arajo, 29, of Fontana
  • Juan Barajas, 25, of Upland
  • Gabriella Cervantes, 52, of Rancho Cucamonga
  • Roberto Carlos Macias, 40, of Chino
  • Humberto Ortiz, 32, of Ontario

The state department said a woman told the Ontario Police Department that she was the victim of a hit-and-run. Witnesses later told authorities she walked over the vehicles after the impact and that she wasn’t in her SUV during the crash.

If convicted of auto insurance fraud, the suspects could face a maximum of five years behind bars and/or a penalty of $50,000.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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