Sacto 9-1-1
July 1, 2013
Man draws jail time for insurance fraud scheme

A man who filed a fraudulent stolen vehicle claim when he fell behind on his auto loan payments was sentenced today in Sacramento Superior Court to 270 days in county jail.

James Adkins also was placed on five years formal probation for committing insurance fraud and was ordered to pay $22,631.86 in restitution to Progressive Insurance and SAFE Credit Union, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

In March 2010, Adkins was two months behind on vehicle loan payments to his credit union. He asked a friend, co-defendant Justin Highsmith, to get rid of his 2002 Escalade so he could file a fraudulent stolen vehicle claim with his auto insurance company, officials said. Highsmith agreed and gave the vehicle to an individual who then sold the Escalade.

On May 18, 2010, Adkins filed a stolen vehicle report with his insurance company and with the Sacramento Police Department. The following month, the buyer of the Escalade tried to register the vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles but was unable to do so because Adkins' credit union had a lien on the vehicle.

On Dec. 19, 2011, Adkins admitted to the California Department of Insurance Urban Auto Task Force that he had filed a fraudulent stolen vehicle report with his insurance company and the Police Department.

Officials said Highsmith was ordered on June 11 of this year to serve 90 days in county jail and was placed on felony probation after pleading no contest to a felony insurance fraud violation.

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