"This alleged crime is shameful and puts a spotlight on the need for investigators and detectives in the California Department of Insurance. CDI investigations often lead to arrests, prosecutions, restitution and prison time. It is important for consumers who suspect fraudulent activity by insurance industry personnel to report it to the Department of Insurance." -CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
ORANGE — On January 12, 2023, Sally Nava Kanarek, 76, of Huntington Beach, was arrested on multiple felony counts of financial elder abuse, grand theft of an elder, and forgery after a California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation found she allegedly defrauded an elderly client, who did not have the capacity to consent to her actions, out of $90,995.
Kanarek worked as a licensed life insurance agent between 2018 and 2021. She moved into the victim’s home in 2020 as an alleged roommate. After learning of the victim’s medical condition, she gained control of the victim's finances, while posing as the victim's “health care manager." Kanarek received more than $90,000 from the victim, including some checks which appear to have been forged.
Kanarek sold the elderly victim two annuities totaling more than $580,000. The sold annuities were against the victim’s financial interest and allowed Kanarek to collect more than $7,800 in commission. Kanarek also attempted to withdraw more than $110,000 from the victim’s IRA and to sell the victim’s home.
Orange County Adult Protective Services and the Orange County Public Guardian assisted in representing the victim’s interests and petitioned for a conservatorship of the victim and the victim's estate in Orange County Superior Court. A conservator has been appointed by the court to better care for the victim.
Kanarek was arrested by the Newport Beach Police Department and booked into the Orange County Jail. Bail was set at $50,000. This case is being prosecuted by the Major Fraud Unit of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The Department revoked Kanarek’s license on December 29, 2022. The Department also imposed an industry ban against Kanarek.