Santa Paula Police Officer Matthew Arthur Alonzo (DOB 09/28/79), of Ventura, pled no contest today to felony auto insurance fraud in violation of Penal Code section 550(b)(1). A plea of no contest carries the same legal force and effect as a plea of guilty and may be entered by a criminal defendant even without the consent of the District Attorney. The plea was the result of investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Office Auto Insurance Fraud Unit.
On January 8, 2018, Alonzo told the AAA insurance adjuster during a recorded interview that he witnessed a car accident in the City of Ventura. When asked by the adjuster if he knew, or was related to, any of the parties involved in the accident, he lied and stated he did not know either of the drivers. In fact, one of the parties involved in the accident was a former Santa Paula Police Officer with whom Alonzo had worked with for approximately five years. As a result of the false information provided by Alonzo, AAA placed its insured driver at fault. Upon determining Alonzo had misrepresented his true relationship with one of the drivers, and after further investigation of the collision, AAA reversed its liability decision.
Alonzo is scheduled to be sentenced on March 26, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. in courtroom 14 of the Ventura County Superior Court. He faces up to five years in jail.
The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is the public prosecutor for the county’s 850,000 residents. The office employs approximately 280 employees including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates, and other professional support staff who strive to seek justice, ensure public safety, and protect the rights of crime victims.
Follow the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office on Twitter @VenturaDAOffice
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