RIVERSIDE— On January 25, 2022, the California Department of Insurance announced that Saul Hinojosa, 48, of Calipatria, was sentenced for one felony count of identity theft and one felony count of grand theft after stealing his clients’ identities to write fraudulent insurance policies to collect unearned commissions. Hinojosa was sentenced to 150 days in jail through work release and ordered to pay $18,252 in restitution.
In February 2017, Hinojosa’s employer reported an internal investigation into Hinojosa who was suspected of writing fraudulent preneed burial policies and collecting unearned commissions. In July 2017, a consumer reported to the California Department of Insurance that the consumer had received a new, unrequested, life insurance policy produced by Hinojosa — whom the consumer had previously dealt with when Hinojosa was as an agent at another insurance company.
A joint investigation by the California Department of Insurance and the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office found that between May 2016 and February 2017 Hinojosa wrote 15 fraudulent preneed burial policies and 13 fraudulent life insurance policies. To write the policies, Hinojosa used his former insurance clients’ identities without their knowledge. Hinojosa received approximately $18,000 in commissions from the fraudulent policies.
“This insurance agent violated the trust of his former clients in order to fraudulently receive commissions. Thankfully, there was an alert employer, consumer, and great California Department of Insurance investigators and detectives to put a stop to his illegal activity,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.
The Department of Insurance will be taking appropriate action against Hinojosa’s license. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case.