The Board of Supervisors Tuesday authorized the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office to utilize a $1.32 million state grant intended to fight auto insurance fraud in the region.

The Department of Insurance’s “Organized Automobile Fraud Activity Interdiction Grant” was awarded to the D.A.’s office in the DOI’s latest round of disbursals to prosecuting agencies throughout the state.

The funding will directly support the Riverside-San Bernardino Organized Automobile Fraud Activity Interdiction Program, according to county officials.

The grant award covers the current fiscal year, as well as 2019-20 and 2020-21, and the funds are earmarked specifically for fraud-related investigations and prosecutions focused on the filing of false insurance claims, staged wrecks and similar offenses.

According to the DOI, the allotment could be supplemented by as much as $335,000, depending on how the state Department of Finance calculates fee collection revenues in the current fiscal year.

Operations conducted by the Riverside Auto Theft Interdiction Detail and the San Bernardino County Auto Theft Task Force will benefit from the grant.

California Highway Patrol personnel, sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors from Riverside and San Bernardino counties, along with police officers from various jurisdictions, participate in field work handled by both teams.

Funds can be expended at all stages of the investigative cycle — from locating and arresting suspects to prosecuting them.

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