Woodstock man accused of burning Volkswagen GTI in alleged insurance fraud scheme

Giovanni Cervantes-Brito

A Woodstock man was accused of setting his 2018 Volkswagen GTI ablaze in February in a remote area near Sunnyside Road and Route 176, according to a McHenry County criminal complaint.

Giovanni Cervantes-Brito, 22, of the 300 block of Leah Lane, was arrested Saturday. He was charged with two counts of arson/damage to real or personal property of more than $150 and arson with intent to defraud an insurance company of $150 or more, Class 2 felonies, as well as disorderly conduct making a false crime report, according to the complaint.

Police said that after 8 p.m. Feb. 19, Cervantes-Brito moved his vehicle to the remote area and set it on fire with the intention of reporting it stolen and damaging it “beyond repair to defraud the insurer, American Family Insurance,” according to the complaint.

He then called the North East Regional Communications Center, which handles 911 calls for much of McHenry County, and reported the vehicle stolen. He told dispatchers that the vehicle was stolen from a property in the 200 block of Joseph Street in Woodstock, according to the complaint.

Woodstock police filed the complaint Friday, and he was arrested on a warrant Saturday.

After an initial appearance Saturday, Cervantes-Brito was released from the county jail and told he may not leave the state or possess a firearm. He also is not allowed to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.

He was represented by an assistant public defender during the hearing. He currently does not have an attorney listed in the court file.

Cervantes-Brito is due in court Jan. 9 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.