LOS ANGELES - On July 18, 2016 Cristian Raul Videla, 34, of Van Nuys, was convicted on one felony count of grand theft and sentenced to five years' probation, 120 hours of community service, and ordered to pay full restitution to his five victims.
Investigators with the Department of Insurance Investigation Division discovered Videla had assumed the identity of a licensed insurance broker, sold cargo insurance to commercial truck drivers, misrepresented the amount of coverage provided, and then pocketed a portion of the consumers' premium for his own use.
Victims were unaware that Videla was providing less coverage than they paid for because he issued fraudulent insurance certificates that indicated the victims had full coverage. The scheme was revealed after one of Videla's victims had a loss and was informed by the insurer that he did not have enough coverage and was responsible for the remaining $50,000 of the $100,000 loss.
Videla was originally charged in June on five felony counts of grand theft. He surrendered to Department of Insurance detectives and bail was set at $100,000. He pleaded no contest to one felony charge.
"Videla's crimes left his victims without the coverage they needed and at great financial risk," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "The best insurance is to verify your coverage with the company issuing the insurance policy."
"The insurance industry in California seems plagued with scam artists willing to put people and their financial futures at risk," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "CDI detectives do an incredible job finding those suspects, uncovering their schemes, arresting them, and then assisting district attorneys in the prosecution."