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Sacramento DA / Media / Press Release Archives / 2016 Press Release Archives / 4.14.16: Defendant Pleads Guilty to Felony Automobile Insurance Fraud

Defendant Pleads Guilty to Felony Automobile Insurance Fraud

DATE:  April 14, 2016

CASE:  Lawonna Donaldson

PROSECUTOR:  Deputy District Attorney Kelly Mulcahy, Insurance Fraud Unit

Forty-four-year-old Lawonna Donaldson pled guilty to felony automobile insurance fraud.

On May 8, 2014, Donaldson filed a report with the Sacramento Police Department stating her car had been stolen from the parking lot of the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. She also filed an insurance claim with GEICO for the theft of the vehicle. At the time she filed this claim, Donaldson told the insurance company there was no damage or mechanical problems with the car prior to the alleged theft and that she was current on her car payments.

The car was located a short time later and it had been severely vandalized.  Sugar had been put into the gas tank and all areas of the exterior had been scratched with a nail/icepick.  The seats were ripped open and had bleach poured on them.  Donaldson claimed she had locked her car but did not set the alarm.  She also stated she had all of the keys.

An investigation by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Insurance Fraud Unit revealed that in fact the car had recently been diagnosed as needing $3,000 in repair work, which was never completed. Donaldson was also six months behind in her car payments.

Under the plea agreement, Donaldson will be sentenced to 210 days county jail and 5 years formal probation.  She will also be required to pay $1,032 in restitution to GEICO.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 17, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 8 before the Honorable Curtis Fiorini. 


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