California Drivers Charged After Text Messages Detail Alleged Fraud Scheme

July 19, 2021

Maricela Pantjoa Vidrio, 31, of Fairfield, Calif., and Areshma Kiran, 35, of Sacramento, Calif., were charged on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud after allegedly conspiring to misrepresent the facts following an auto collision to receive insurance payouts.

An investigation by the California Department of Insurance reportedly showed that on Aug. 19, 2018, Vidrio was driving her 2016 Honda Accord and struck the rear of a 2007 Nissan Pathfinder, driven by Kiran. Vidrio, who was uninsured at the time of the collision, allegedly obtained an auto policy with her insurance company on Aug. 21, 2018.

The investigation discovered text messages between Vidrio and Kiran following the accident in which Vidrio told Kiran her plan to obtain insurance so both vehicles will be repaired. They agreed to falsely report to their insurance companies that the collision occurred on Aug. 23, 2018, four days after the actual accident.

During the claims process, Vidrio’s insurer determined Kiran was at fault in the collision and that Vidrio’s vehicle was a total loss. The insurance company paid Vidrio’s lien holder $19,439 and used a collection agency in an attempt to collect the amount that was paid in the claim from Kiran.

In disputing the reimbursement amount from Vidrio’s insurance company, Kiran admitted the actual date of the collision was Aug. 19, 2018. Kiran provided the insurance company with text messages between her and Vidrio to corroborate the date and prove they agreed to lie to the insurance company. Kiran also admitted to CDI detectives that she knowingly agreed to Vidrio’s plan to lie about the date of the collision in order to have her car repaired. In the text messages that Kiran provided, Vidrio also admitted that the collision was her fault.

Vidrio self-surrendered to the Sacramento County Jail on June 30, and Kiran self-surrendered on June 16. The case is being prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.