LOS ANGELES – On January 27, 2021, former licensed insurance agent and customer service representative Laura Lopez, 37, of Long Beach, was arraigned on one felony count of grand theft after allegedly collecting more than $97,000 in insurance premiums from clients and pocketing the premiums.
After receiving a complaint in February 2020, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) launched an investigation that revealed between February 2016 and September 2019, Lopez allegedly collected, and subsequently stole, insurance premiums provided by clients to purchase insurance coverage.
“Criminal actions such as those alleged in this case leave innocent people without the protection they sought and purchased,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Acts of insurance fraud must be investigated to ensure the protection of citizens and to help control the cost of all of our premiums, which go up as a result of insurance fraud.”
Lopez is accused of manipulating the billing cycles on at least 53 insurance policies by changing the due dates in order to extend the policy, in an attempt to hide the alleged theft. She also is accused of changing the policy billing address to either her residence or office so she could receive the billing statements instead of her clients.
Lopez is scheduled to return to court on February 18, 2021. The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.