“Brokers who put their own personal greed over the financial protection of their clients give the industry a bad name. Fortunately, the California Department of Insurance employs very competent investigators and detectives to investigate alleged insurance-related crimes, which in turn can result in restitution for the victims and prison time for the offender.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
ORANGE— On July 5, 2023, Brian Keith Arteaga, 39, of Placentia, was arraigned on multiple felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement, theft of fiduciary funds, insurance fraud, and money laundering after a California Department of Insurance investigation found he allegedly stole more than $80,000 from small business owners and failed to give the payments to their respective insurance, leaving the victims uninsured. Arteaga’s alleged actions resulted in an uncovered loss of over $500,000 for three victims, one whose property burned down.
Arteaga worked as an insurance broker from 2004 to 2023 under business names Elias Insurance Services, EIS Insurance Services, and Elias Insurance Agency, LLC. Between 2017 and 2021, Arteaga collected money from the victims that was intended for their insurance policies. Arteaga is accused of failing to remit the money to the insurance and keeping it for his personal use. His alleged actions resulted in his victims’ policies being cancelled, which they discovered after attempting to file loss claims.
The Department issued Arteaga an Order of Immediate Suspension and Prohibition from the insurance industry and his insurance license has been deactivated.
Arteaga was arrested by the Placentia Police Department on June 30, 2023, and booked into the Orange County Jail. Bail was set at $20,000. Arteaga is scheduled to return to court on July 21, 2023. This case is being prosecuted by the Major Fraud Unit of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.