Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Santa Paula Police Department Officer Matthew Arthur Alonzo, 40 years, of Ventura, was sentenced for committing auto insurance fraud.

During the sentencing hearing, Alonzo’s felony conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor by the court, over the objection of the District Attorney’s Office. The court sentenced Alonzo to sixty days of work release and three years of probation. Alonzo was also ordered to pay restitution to Farmers Insurance Company in the amount of $1,564.

 Alonzo’s conviction and sentencing stems from his actions in January 2018, when he provided a false statement to an insurance adjuster concerning a car accident he claimed to witness. During a recorded call, an insurance adjuster asked Alonzo whether he knew or was related to any of the drivers involved in the collision.

Alonzo fraudulently stated that he did not know either of the drivers when in fact one of the drivers was a former Santa Paula Police Department (SPPD) officer who Alonzo had personally worked with for over five years. This fraudulent misrepresentation by Alonzo initially caused the wrong driver to be found at fault in the collision.

Subsequent investigation by the insurance companies and the District Attorney’s Office Auto Insurance Fraud Unit revealed Alonzo’s misrepresentation and caused the initial incorrect liability decision to be reversed.

Alonzo is currently on administrative leave with the SPPD.