IRVINE - Former licensed agent Alan Amir Yousefi, 31, is charged with 10 felony counts including grand theft, insurance fraud and forgery for allegedly stealing more than $105,000 in insurance premiums from several business owners. Yousefi allegedly targeted contractors and small businesses to steal workers’ compensation premiums leaving his victims without insurance and at great financial risk.
“This case came to the attention of California Department of Insurance when a business owner in need of workers’ comp insurance discovered no coverage, despite paying a premium which this agent allegedly pocketed for his own financial gain,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “If ever an industry needs investigators and detectives to root out fraud, it is the insurance industry. Not just in California, but across the country. California Department of Insurance investigators and detectives are among the best in investigating insurance fraud.”
According to a California Department of Insurance press release, the investigation revealed Yousefi, doing business as Vanak Insurance Services, failed to place insurance for clients and instead pocketed workers’ compensation premiums and used the cash for gambling, sports equipment and designer clothes. Contractors and small businesses were issued bogus certificates to cover up the fraud. Not having valid policies in place exposed these businesses to claims and the potential for huge financial losses.
A construction company that purchased a workers’ compensation policy from Yousefi discovered it did not have coverage after an injured employee filed a claim. This business suffered an uncovered loss and is now negotiating a costly settlement with the injured employee’s attorney. Other victims faced premium hikes as a result of having gaps in coverage through no fault of their own, while another victim had their contractor’s license suspended by the Contractors State License Board because Yousefi failed to secure the company a workers’ compensation policy.
Yousefi surrendered at the courthouse and was released after posting $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned February 25th. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.