“California Department of Insurance investigators and detectives investigate unscrupulous individuals who use the insurance industry as a cover for their crimes, stealing identities and money to satisfy their own greed. It’s important consumer protection work and we thank them for the important investigative work that they do.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
LOS ANGELES —On December 7, 2022, Francis Okyere, 70, a previously licensed insurance agent in Westlake Village, was sentenced after pleading no contest to 17 felony counts of identity theft and grand theft by false pretenses. A California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation found Okyere stole multiple victims’ identities and used them to open a fraudulent insurance agency. Okyere was sentenced to two years in county jail and to pay restitution in full.
CDI began an investigation after receiving a complaint from one of Okyere’s ex-relatives that he had stolen the identities of several people in order to open a new insurance agency. The Department’s investigation confirmed that Okyere stole the identities of four victims, in order to open Cyber Access Insurance Agency. The victims’ identities were also used on small business loan applications to fund the fraudulent agency.
The Department’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 used the same stolen identities when he applied for forgiveness of one of the loans. Okyere was arrested August 18, 2022.
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.
The case was prosecuted by the Healthcare Fraud Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.