Best Defender Bytes:

August 5, 2013

ARSONIST WHO SET FIRES IN OWN HOME AND CAR TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR $128,000 INSURANCE FRAUD AND $85,000 PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FRAUD

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 7:30 am

SANTA ANA – A woman will be arraigned today for collecting over $128,000 in insurance payments after filing claims for a series of fires, later determined to be self-started arsons, and other fraudulent reports. The defendant is also charged with illegally collecting over $85,000 in welfare, housing, and MediCal benefits, for which she did not qualify, after failing to disclose the income from her many insurance claims.

Andrea Michelle Robinson, 38, Aliso Viejo, is charged with four felony counts of arson of defendant’s own property, 22 felony counts of insurance fraud, three felony counts of grand theft, three felony counts of arson of an inhabited property, one felony count of aid by misrepresentation, two felony counts of perjury by false application for aid, one misdemeanor count of fraudulently attempting to obtain aid for a child, and a sentencing enhancement for arson for pecuniary gain. If convicted, Robinson faces a maximum sentence of 41 years in state prison. Robinson is being held on $250,000 bail.  She is scheduled for a continued arraignment today, Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Arson-Related Insurance Fraud

In August 2009, Robinson is accused of committing arson with the intent to commit insurance fraud by setting a fire in her 12-year-old daughter’s bedroom while the child was sleeping in the defendant’s master bedroom. Neighbors observed a fire and broke a window of the Rancho Santa Margarita home in order to throw water inside in an effort to put out the flames. The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) responded to the scene and put out the remaining fire. Investigators determined that the fire started next to the bed, but the source of ignition could not be determined. Robinson is accused of submitting a fraudulent insurance claim and receiving $25,000 from her insurance company for the fire damage.

In May 2011, while living in Aliso Viejo, Robinson is accused of committing arson with the intent to commit insurance fraud by setting a fire in the master bedroom and then leaving the home. Neighbors called 911 and OCFA extinguished the fire. When contacted by phone by OCFA, the defendant is accused of claiming to have blown out a candle in the master bedroom before leaving the residence. She is accused of submitting a fraudulent insurance claim and receiving $46,000 from her insurance company for the fire damage.


On Dec. 2, 2011, Robinson is accused of committing arson with the intent to commit insurance fraud by setting fire to her Volkswagen Passat and leaving it on the street in Santa Ana. She is accused of then going to Westfield Main Place Mall. The Santa Ana Police Department and Santa Ana Fire Department responded to the vehicle fire and subsequently located the defendant at the mall. She is accused of claiming to have parked her car in the mall parking lot and claiming that it must have been stolen without evidence to support those claims. Robinson is accused of submitting a fraudulent insurance claim and receiving $9,600 from her insurance company to cover the loss and damage.

On June 1, 2012, Robinson is accused of committing arson by setting fire to the carpet in the bedroom of her Laguna Niguel apartment.  The fire did not spread and went out, and OCFA was not contacted. A visible burn was left on the carpet.

On June 6, 2012, Robinson is accused of committing arson with the intent to commit insurance fraud by setting fire to the carpet in the bedroom of her Laguna Niguel apartment.  OCFA responded to the scene, where the fire was already out, and the defendant is accused of claiming that a neighbor threw a burning object into the home. Fire investigators observed the burn marks on the carpet from the fire on June 1, 2013, and other evidence indicating that Robinson had started the fires. The defendant is accused of being advised by OCFA that she would be committing fraud if she submitted an insurance claim related to this fire.

All of the fires occurred in multi-family housing complexes, potentially endangering other residents, and all of the arsons were set in Housing and Urban Development residences, which are taxpayer funded and in which the defendant had no financial investment.

Based on the suspicious nature of the arson on June 6, 2012, OCFA began investigating this case and contacted the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office. An investigation by the OCDA Bureau of Investigation into the arsons and insurance fraud led to evidence of welfare, housing, and MediCal fraud by the defendant.

Additional Insurance and Public Assistance Fraud

Robinson is accused of moving to Orange County from New Mexico around July 2008. Between July 2008 and July 2013, the defendant is accused of applying for and receiving over $85,000 in housing, welfare, and MediCal benefits. She is accused of committing perjury by falsely claiming that she did not possess a vehicle and had no income other than a 1-time, $215 birthday gift.

Between 2008 and July 2013, Robinson is accused of receiving over $21,000 in welfare cash aid and food stamps, over $63,000 in housing assistance, and an undetermined amount in MediCal for her and her daughter. While living in Orange County, the defendant is accused of only paying $56 a month in rent toward her $1,660 rent payment based on her fraudulently obtained housing benefits.

During this time period, Robinson is accused of living a lavish lifestyle, traveling extensively across the United States to visit family, purchasing expensive electronics and designer handbags, and driving several cars including a Land Rover, despite claiming in her public assistance applications that she did not possess any vehicles.

During this same time period, Robinson is also accused of filing other fraudulent insurance claims, reporting two residential burglaries and two vehicle burglaries or vandalisms. She is accused of claiming lost, stolen, or damaged items including but not limited to several large flat screen TVs, multiple Apple computers, diamond earrings, gold jewelry, several Gucci bags, a wine rack, dog stroller, and several designer clothing items and handbags. The defendant was paid by the insurance companies for each of these fraudulent claims.

In 2010, the defendant is accused of receiving an additional $35,000 insurance payment related to a malpractice suit filed against a doctor in 2008 while living in New Mexico.

Between 2008 and 2013, Robinson is accused of fraudulently receiving over $128,000 in insurance and legal claims. She is accused of failing to disclose any of this income in her applications for public assistance, as required by law.

In January 2013, the defendant is accused of getting a job as a hospital telemetry technician. She is accused of failing to report her income in her applications for public assistance, as required by law.

Robinson was arrested July 11, 2013, by OCDA Investigators and deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputy District Attorney Claudia Alvarez of the Insurance Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 13CF2143 / August 02, 2013

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress