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Santa Paula officer sentenced for providing false statement to auto insurance adjuster

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SANTA PAULA, Calif. - Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced that a Santa Paula Police officer was sentenced for committing auto insurance fraud in January 2018.

Officer Matthew Arthur Alonzo, 40, of Ventura reportedly gave a false statement to an insurance adjuster concerning a car crash he claimed to witness.

During a recorded call, the insurance adjuster asked Alonzo whether he knew or was related to any of the drivers involved in the collision. The District Attorney's Office said Alonzo fraudulently stated that he did not know either of the drivers in the crash. However, one of the drivers was later confirmed to be a former Santa Paula Police officer whom Alonzo had personally worked with for over five years.

The DA's Office said this fraudulent statement initially caused the wrong driver to be found at fault in the collision.

An investigation ensued and the District Attorney’s Office Auto Insurance Fraud Unit revealed Alonzo’s false statement. The incorrect liability decision was then reversed.

Alonzo was brought in for a sentencing hearing where his felony conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor by the court, over the objection of the District Attorney’s Office.

Alonzo was sentenced to sixty days of work release and three years of probation. He was also ordered to pay $1,564 of restitution to Farmers Insurance Company.

Alonzo is currently on administrative leave with the Santa Paula Police Department.

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

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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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