The alleged mastermind of a scheme to obtain $13,000 from an auto insurance company pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a pair of felony charges.
Coltin Barody, 26, of Lake Elsinore, remains free on his posted $25,000 bail. He will be back in court June 11 for a readiness conference and June 18 for a preliminary hearing.
Barody faces five years in prison if convicted of presenting a false motor vehicle claim and making a false statement to an insurer.
The defendant allegedly had his 20-year-old nephew, Jacob Holloway of San Diego, beef up the insurance coverage on a motorcycle after it was stolen.
Holloway owed money on the bike, but only had liability coverage, meaning he would have still been responsible for paying off the loan, according to the California Department of Insurance.
Investigators allege Barody came up with the plan to augment the insurance coverage on the bike, then lie about when and where the motorcycle was stolen. Holloway and his 21-year-old wife, Melinda Minshall, then allegedly relayed the story to Progressive Insurance Co. and received $13,000.
Investigators uncovered texts stating the theft occurred before the policy had been increased, according to the DOI.
Barody was arrested by the San Diego Urban Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force last week. Holloway and Minshall were issued notices to appear in court and will be arraigned later, according to Deputy District Attorney Luis Mendez.
— City News Service
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