A Southern California couple faces charges after authorities say they had been posting dashcam videos of traffic crashes and road rages, including with their child in the car, to YouTube in a dangerous insurance fraud scam.
Christopher Phelps and his wife, Kimberly, both 40, were arrested Wednesday in Southern California, the state’s Department of Insurance said in a statement. They face charges of insurance fraud, assault with a deadly weapon and child endangerment.
Authorities say the case came about after the videos surfaced on a YouTube channel connected to Christopher Phelps under the name “BLU3 GHO57.”
Officials said the channel had over 160 dashcam videos of vehicle crashes, close calls, and road rages.
“In multiple incidents, Christopher Phelps’ child is also in the vehicle,” officials said.
Officials said that Christopher Phelps filed 17 insurance claims linked to 23 collisions on the Youtube channel. Authorities connected him to 42 videos of road rage incidents and attempted crashes.
“Several of the videos appeared to be intentional acts,” insurance officials said in a news release.
Officials said they served numerous search warrants, reviewed videos, and attempted to locate victims.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department contacted the state last month after Christopher Phelps was involved in a suspicious collision, officials said.
In that crash, officials said he allegedly appeared to stop for no apparent reason and caused a truck pulling a trailer to rear-end him.
Afterward, he posted to YouTube a rear-facing dashcam video of the moments leading to the crash, officials said.
He was arrested and posted bail, authorities said.
Christopher Phelps faces 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.
After his arrest last month, Christopher Phelps had been 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.
Christopher Phelps was booked into jail with bail set at $500,000. Kimberly Phelps was jailed on $500,000 bail.