“Identity theft is a serious offense and can impact victims for years. Thanks to a tip, CDI investigators were able to look into these alleged crimes and arrest the suspects before any additional harm could take place.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
LOS ANGELES — On August 18, 2022, Francis Okyere, 70, a previously licensed insurance agent in Westlake Village, was arrested in relation to a scheme that involved him allegedly stealing multiple victims’ identities and using them to open a fraudulent insurance agency. The victims’ identities were also used on small business loan applications to fund the fraudulent agency, known as Cyber Access Insurance Agency.
Okyere was charged with 17 felony counts including identity theft and grand theft by false pretenses. Okyere’s alleged accomplice, Holly Freeman, 40, was also arrested on August 18th and charged with four counts of felony identity theft for her alleged involvement in the same scheme.
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) began an investigation after receiving a complaint from one of Okyere’s ex-relatives, alleging he had stolen the identities of several people in order to open a new insurance agency. CDI’s investigation confirmed that Okyere allegedly stole the identities of four victims, in order to open Cyber Access Insurance Agency.
CDI’s investigation discovered Okyere had also applied for a series of Small Business Administration and Paycheck Protection Program loans, the federal program to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The documents related to those loans revealed two of the same stolen victims’ identities had been used to fraudulently secure loan funds in the amount of $38,963. Okyere is accused of using the same stolen identities when he applied for forgiveness of one of the loans.
This is the second time fraud accusations have been brought against Okyere, who has previously been convicted of grand theft following another Department investigation which found he stole $65,186 in insurance premiums from small business owners. The Department ordered Okyere to surrender his license in 2019 and he is pending sentencing in that matter.
Okyere’s bail was set at $815,000 and Freeman’s bail is set at $100,000. The case is being prosecuted by the Healthcare Fraud Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.