California Man Sentenced to 14 Months in Federal Prison for His Role in Staged Accident Scheme
South El Monte, California Man Sentenced in Federal Court
Spokane – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Alexander Arceo, age 32, of South El Monte, California, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty on June 17, 2019, to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and one count of mail fraud. Chief United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Arceo to a 14-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 3-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. Chief Judge Rice also ordered Arceo to pay restitution in the amount of $40,000 and forfeiture of $40,000.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, between February 2016, and September 2016, Arceo was involved in a staged automobile accident in Rescue, California, and a staged stair fall accident in Las Vegas, Nevada, that defrauded two insurance companies out of $412,015. In the phony automobile accident, Arceo falsely claimed that he suffered serious bodily injuries, including loss of consciousness, as a result of the accident and obtained medical treatment over an eighty-four day period after the accident. In the phony stair fall accident, a co-conspirator used Arceo’s name when he falsely claimed to an insurance company that he suffered head and other injuries and needed medical treatment over a five-month period. When the defrauded insurance company issued settlement checks for bodily injury in Arceo’s name, he endorsed the checks thereby enabling co-conspirators to get the fraudulent proceeds.
United States Attorney Hyslop said, “Staged accident automobile insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. It affects every driver, as fraud causes insurance rates to increase. It also distracts police and medical personnel from responding to legitimate distress calls. I commend the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and U.S. Marshals Service for their outstanding work investigating this case.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington Criminal Healthcare Fraud Investigator, with assistance from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. This case was prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III, and Brian Donovan, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.