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Crime

Santa Paula woman arrested for two counts of auto insurance fraud

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SANTA PAULA, Calif. - District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced on Friday that Santa Paula resident, Graciela Medina-Montes, pled guilty to two counts of felony auto insurance fraud.

Medina-Montes, 67, was prosecuted as a result of a joint investigation by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office Auto Insurance Fraud Unit and California Department of Insurance (CDI).

The District Attorney's Office said Medina-Montes falsely reported to the Santa Paula Police Department and her auto insurance company that her vehicle was stolen while parked in Santa Paula in August 2018.

CDI detectives later confronted Medina-Montes with evidence proving her Chevrolet Tahoe was actually driven into Mexico. She then confessed that she did drive her car into Mexico and that it had not been stolen.

Medina-Montes paid $500 in restitution to her auto insurance company, National General Insurance, and is scheduled to appear in the Ventura Superior Court on Jan. 22.

The Attorney's Office said Medina-Montes faces up to six years in jail and a fine of up to $50,000.

Ventura County
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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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