Steal from the people and the state of California by way of the insurance industry and our investigators with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) will be hot on your trail.
Case in point? The arrest and sentencing of a former La Mesa insurance agent. According to a CDI press release, Richard Scott Webster Jr., aka Chris Webster, 33, has been sentenced to 365 days and ordered to pay more than $250,000 in restitution to his victims. Detectives uncovered this premium theft case after getting complaints. They revealed Webster took more than $240,000 from a roofing contractor in Northern California and more than $9,000 from a pharmacy in Southern California for workers compensation insurance policies but never gave the insurance premiums to the insurance companies and instead kept the money for himself.
Want more? Our CDI investigators were part of a task force that led to the recent arrest of three central valley business owners for workers' compensation premium fraud, failure to pay taxes, tax evasion and grand theft. According to a CDI press release, this case of fraud cost insurers $782,000 in workers' comp premiums and the state lost out on $187,000.
And there's more. CDI is also announcing the arrest of Vahagn Mkhikian, 27, of North Hollywood. Mkhikian was a licensed life insurance agent and is alleged to have taken more than $36,000 in premium payments from a 62-year-old client and kept the money for himself.
"This is evidence that there is no shortage of work for our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members who are detectives with the department of insurance," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "These detectives are taking on cases of grand theft and fraud and busting them wide open. "
"Kicking tires and lighting fires," said California Association of Criminal Investigators (CACI) President Frank Capetillo. "CACI/CDI members continue to show that hard work and good investigations result in protecting Californians' rights by making sure there is a level playing field for those who play by the rules. It should be clear to anybody participating in an illegal activity that one of our CSLEA member investigators is not far behind.
For details regarding these cases and others visit the California Department of Insurance website at: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2012/