SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KTVU) – A nomadic pair of suspected scam artists have been charged with pretending that they were struck by cars driven by elderly drivers to fraudulently collect insurance money, Santa Clara Country prosecutors announced Friday.
According to authorities, elderly Santa Clara residents backing out of parking spaces were the target of the scam. One driver was 93-years-old.
These were not harmless pranksters, but highly organized scam artists who repeatedly preyed on the elderly," Supervising Deputy District Attorney Christine Garcia –Sen said. "We are concerned that this scheme was widespread and often unreported."
The defendants allegedly staged four accidents during which the suspects used multiple aliases and switched roles as witness and injured party.
The scams ranged from February to December 2013 in drug store, restaurant, and shopping center parking lots in San Jose and Santa Clara.
The alleged "victim" would then make an insurance claim against the driver. Evidence shows that the two were paid more than $18,000 for their faked injuries.
Prosecutors said the two are Anthony Thompson, 30, aka Joseph Morrison, David Coden, Sean Muller and David Yurman; and Shasha Siganoff, 26, aka Nina Siganoff, Sasha Miller, Sasha Mollen, Jessica Clamon and Gabriella Sazzi.
Thompson was charged with 16 felony counts and was being held on $160,000 bail. Meanwhile, Siganoff was charged with 10 felony counts and was being held in the Santa Clara County jail on $100,000 bail.
Prosecutors said the charges include making false claims, grand theft, and participating in a vehicle collision for a false purpose.
If convicted, Thompson faces a maximum of more than 18 years in prison. Siganoff faces a maximum of more than 11 years.
If anyone has any information about the defendants or the case are encouraged to contact Investigator Dale Morgan at (408) 201-8808.