An automobile insurance fraud sting operation led to the arrest of four people, including three from Contra Costa County, officials said Friday.
The undercover sting was conducted by the California Department of Insurance, Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
In one instance, employees at a repair shop allegedly provided undercover officers with falsified written documentation to support fraudulent insurance claims.
In another, an undercover officer was coached by body shop workers "on telling a phony story to the insurance company, including allegedly telling the undercover officer to lie about when and how the vehicle damage occurred," California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in a news release.
The four people arrested on felony counts of insurance fraud are Estephanie Gonzalez-Marquez, 26, of Pittsburg; Marco Antonio Hernandez Santizo, 49, of San Pablo; Kyle Alan Coburn, 30, of Elk Grove; and Vu Phong Hoang, 33, of Clayton.
"These suspects brazenly worked to rip off insurance companies by making bogus insurance claims," Lara said. "We are tackling the issue of insurance fraud head-on and are taking proactive steps to educate the public and provide a deterrent message to those knowingly breaking the law. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime."