LOS ANGELES - An LAPD officer accused of making arrangements for his vehicle to be set on fire pleaded guilty last Friday to insurance fraud.Anthony Robert Villanueva, 24, was immediately sentenced to three years probation and 400 hours of community service. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Horwitz dismissed two counts against Villanueva - one count each of arson of one's own property and filing a false police report - under the terms of a negotiated settlement. Another LAPD officer, Ricardo Rebolledo, 27, also pleaded guilty to insurance fraud. He received three years probation and 200 hours of community service. The charges stemmed from an investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance. In April 2010, Villanueva arranged for his 2001 Lexus sedan to be taken to the desert and set on fire, resulting in a total loss. Villanueva then filed a stolen vehicle report with the Los Angeles Police Department and submitted a claim for damages to his insurance company. Rebolledo provided a false statement to Villanueva's insurance company in support of the claim, vouching for Villanueva's whereabouts on the day of the supposed theft.
********** Published: March 17, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 48