A Santa Paula police officer was sentenced Wednesday for committing insurance fraud, prosecutors said. 

Matthew Alonzo, 40, of Ventura, was ordered to serve 60 days in a work-release program and three years of probation, according to a news release from the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. 

Alonzo pleaded no contest to a felony charge of auto insurance fraud in February. He was arrested in connection with the offense in December 2018. Alonzo was a witness to a car accident in January 2018 and is currently on paid administrative leave, authorities said. 

At Wednesday’s hearing in Ventura County Superior Court, a judge granted the defense’s request to reduce the felony conviction to a misdemeanor. 

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In a recorded phone call, Alonzo lied to an insurance adjuster about not knowing one of the drivers involved in the wreck, according to prosecutors.  

One of the drivers was a former Santa Paula police officer that Alonzo worked with for more than five years, authorities said. 

“This fraudulent misrepresentation by Alonzo initially caused the wrong driver to be found at fault in the collision,” prosecutors said in the news release. 

The court also ordered Alonzo to pay $1,564 in restitution to an insurance company, authorities said. 

Megan Diskin is a courts and breaking news reporter with The Star. Reach her at [email protected] or 805-437-0258. 

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