The internet has made some people go to desperate measures for attention. Some even go so far as to commit a crime for it. Case in point: the California Department of Insurance announced that a Southern California couple has been arrested after running a YouTube channel that had videos of them allegedly committing insurance fraud.
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Christopher and Kimberly Phelps of Yucaipa were arrested over the scam. According to authorities, the couple ran a YouTube channel under the username BLU3 GHO57. And because stuff like car crashes and road rage incidents are popular on the platform, the channel had 162 dash cam videos of incidents ranging from full-on collisions to road rage incidents.
Somehow, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department became aware of the channel, and it tipped off the state’s department of insurance. An investigation into the videos showed that it was a cash grab for insurance money. Of the 162 videos on the channel, authorities found that 23 videos were linked to 17 insurance claims by Christopher. The road rage incidents were a bit worse, as 42 of those appeared to be intentional acts by him. Alarmingly, the couple’s child appeared to be in the vehicle in what’s described as “multiple incidents.”
The Phelps’ luck ran out in February. County sheriffs were tipped off after Christopher allegedly caused another collision, this time involving a truck pulling a trailer. Authorities say he got in front of the vehicle and intentionally stopped for no reason, causing the truck to rear end him. And like clockwork, not long after the “accident,” a video of the incident was uploaded to their channel. Authorities responded to the area of the collision, investigating and questioning witnesses which eventually led to the couple’s arrest.
Now the Phelps lives are pretty much over. From the California Department of Insurance:
Christopher Phelps has been charged with six felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, 11 felony counts of insurance fraud, and five felony counts of child endangerment. Kimberly Phelps has been charged with two counts of felony child endangerment and one count of felony insurance fraud. Christopher Phelps was previously charged with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon and one felony count of causing a vehicle collision for the purpose of presenting a false claim following his arrest last month.
Both are being held on $500,000 bail while the county prosecutes the case.