News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: September 11, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Former Long Beach Insurance Broker Ordered to Pay $120,000 Restitution to Victims
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that former insurance broker Carlos Chavez, 39, of Long Beach, was ordered on August 25 to pay $119,427 restitution to five victims. Chavez was convicted of eight felony counts including elder abuse, grand theft and computer fraud. He was sentenced to serve one year in Los Angeles County Jail on August 12.
"Any agent or broker who attempts to cheat customers by pocketing their premiums and leaving them exposed to losses will face serious consequences," said Commissioner Poizner. "Jail time, fines and restitution are only the beginning for these unscrupulous criminals."
According to CDI investigators, Chavez, doing business as Capable Insurance Services, collected at least $6,895 from five clients between August 2006 and September 2007, for the purpose of purchasing insurance products (homeowners, commercial general liability and workers' compensation). Chavez placed coverage for two of his clients, but allegedly failed to remit any premium, resulting in the insurance company sending cancellation notices on both policies. Both of these clients paid premium directly to the insurance company to reinstate their policies.
Chavez allegedly failed to place and remit premium to any insurance company for the other three clients and purportedly issued bogus certificates of insurance to two of these clients to give the impression that the coverage was legitimate. Chavez's alleged scam was discovered by the son of one of the victims, a senior citizen, who contacted Chavez to file a claim when his father's home was damaged in a fire. This victim had neither received a certificate of insurance nor a policy from Chavez. This victim subsequently discovered from the insurance company named in the quote that Chavez failed to place his coverage, resulting in an uncovered loss to the senior exceeding $110,000. This victim subsequently filed a complaint with the Department of Insurance.
This case was prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Close to 1900 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by the Department of Insurance's Enforcement Branch since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other two year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
If you are a member of the public wishing information, please visit our Consumer Services.