News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: November 12, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces Conviction of Long Beach Insurance Agent on Grand Theft Charges
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced that Edwin A. Flores, 33, of Long Beach pled guilty to one count of misdemeanor grand theft and was sentenced Nov. 5 to two years probation, 120 hours of community service and will pay $21,060 in restitution to a life insurance company.
"Insurance agents who try to commit fraud for their own personal financial gain hurt every law abiding person in the form of higher premiums," said Commissioner Poizner. "If you decide to break the law, CDI investigative teams will find you and help prosecute you."
According to a California Department of Insurance investigation, from Nov. 2008 through Feb. 2009, Flores intentionally submitted 14 fraudulent applications for life insurance with inaccurate bank draft information to a life insurance company in order to receive advance commission payments totaling $21,060.
The scheme was discovered by the life insurance company when it attempted to collect payments from the bank accounts, which were provided with the applications, but learned from the bank that the accounts were bogus. The insurance company contacted Flores regarding these transactions and he said the company had the wrong account number. Flores gave the company new bank account numbers, which also were fraudulent. Flores eventually signed a promissory note to the insurance company indicating he would pay the money back, which he never did.
During the investigation, Flores admitted that he submitted the life insurance applications with inaccurate banking information in order to receive the advance commission, due to financial problems.
CDI action against Flores' licenses is pending.
Commissioner Poizner oversees 16 CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Approximately 1,900 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by the Department of Insurance's enforcement division since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other two year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
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