Six Suspects Charged After Riverside Police Uncover Elaborate Vehicle Fraud Ring

The Riverside County District Attorney's (DA) Office has charged six people with fraud for their alleged role in what prosecutors call a scheme, which involved forging documents for the purpose of getting unsafe vehicles to pass auto inspections.

According to a statement released by the Riverside County DA's Office, a three-year investigation by the California Highway Patrol's Inland Division focused on the six suspects and a Riverside, California auto business. Arrests were made and charges were filed after the investigation came to a close by late May 2014.

Court documents allege that this vehicle fraud conspiracy involved repeated acts of bypassing the California Highway Patrol's salvage inspection program. According to prosecutors, these acts created the possibility of putting unsafe vehicles on California roads. Prosecutors also claim the alleged conspirators were able to bypass outstanding sales tax charges owed on used automobiles.

In late May 2014, investigators served search warrants on the business implicated in this alleged fraud ring.

By June 3, 2014, five of the six suspects were arrested and according to The Riverside Press Enterprise, a sixth suspect was still at large.

California Fraud Law

In the state of California, the crime of fraud comprehensively includes several different offenses. Under California law, fraud is generally classified as the following:

(1) An act that resulted in an unfair benefit for the defendant and/ or (2) An act that harmed another person or caused them a loss.

If found guilty of felony fraud in the state of California, a defendant can face a significant prison term. In what is classified as "white collar enhancement," a defendant can face even more prison time under California's Aggravated White Collar Crime Enhancement Law. (Penal Code 186.11)

It is imperative for a defendant to have a skilled legal defense team at his/her disposal if they are charged in a felony fraud case. Since 1999, the Law Office of Nicolai Cocis & Associates, has provided skilled and experienced defense for clients charged with fraud or the related offenses of theft and embezzlement. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Menifee, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Perris, Banning, Corona or Riverside, click here or call us for a free consultation. We can help!

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