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WEST HILLS : Man Given 3 Years in Insurance Fraud

A Guatemalan immigrant was sentenced to three years in state prison Monday for filing a false insurance claim after he was involved in what authorities called a staged accident in West Hills.

Eliseo Molina Ramires, 19, of Los Angeles was convicted last week of insurance fraud stemming from a Christmas Eve accident near the intersection of Topanga Canyon and Roscoe boulevards.

Another man convicted in the case, Oscar Rolando Vasquez, 25, also a Guatemalan immigrant, is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday for falsely claiming to have been a passenger in Ramires’ car.

According to prosecutors, Ramires, who was driving a red pickup truck, pretended to be cut off by an accomplice in a white car.

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Ramires slammed on his brakes, prosecutors said, causing another pickup truck carrying two newlyweds to smashed into the back of his vehicle. A rented van carrying seven of the couple’s relatives from Michigan then joined the fray.

The white car that caused the accident sped away.

The case was cracked when a woman reported to police that she was nearly involved in an accident with Ramires, the same red pickup truck and a white car about 2 1/2 miles away and only one hour before, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Mitchel J. Harris.

After the crash, Ramires filed a claim with Allstate Insurance Co. He received medical treatment five days a week for three weeks, and then every other day for several more weeks.

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