L.A. Police Officers Charged in Insurance Fraud Scheme
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has charged two Los Angeles police officers with making arrangements to set a vehicle on fire that belonged to one officer as part of an insurance fraud scheme.
Officer Anthony Robert Villanueva, 24, is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, arson of one’s own property and filing a false report of a criminal offense. His co-defendant, officer Ricardo Rebolledo, 27, faces one count of insurance fraud.
The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance. Prosecutors allege that in April, Villanueva arranged for his 2001 Lexus sedan to be taken to the desert and set on fire, resulting in the vehicle being a total loss. Villanueva then allegedly filed a stolen vehicle report with the Los Angeles Police Department and submitted a claim for damages to his automobile insurance company.
Rebolledo allegedly provided a fraudulent statement to Villanueva’s insurance company in support of the claim, vouching for his friend’s whereabouts on the day of the supposed vehicle theft.
Each defendant has been employed by the LAPD since September 2009. If convicted as charged, Villanueva faces a maximum state prison term of six years, two months and a fine of up to $50,000. Rebolledo faces a maximum term of five years in state prison.
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