News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: December 4, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Conviction of Porter Ranch Man on Felony Theft, Forgery Charges
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced that Craig Randall, 52, of Porter Ranch has been found guilty of 13 counts of theft of funds by a broker or agent, two counts of forgery, one count of attempted theft of funds and one count of attempting to dissuade a witness from reporting a crime. He was sentenced Nov. 30 in Los Angeles County to three years probation and 300 hours of California Department of Transportation clean up.
Randall was facing as many as six years in prison. He also was ordered to pay $60,140 in restitution, including $11,932 to one of his victims.
"Taking someone's premium and not buying a policy is stealing, plain and simple," Commissioner Poizner said. "Those who commit this crime will be found, arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
According to California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigators, Randall, owner of EZ Discount Insurance Services Inc. in Chatsworth, collected $48,207.42 from 24 clients for commercial general liability insurance. Randall collected premium payments from his victims, but failed to remit the premium payments to insurers. After cashing the checks, sometimes at a check-cashing store, Randall pocketed the money to pay for gas, food and pay his employees' wages. Randall submitted bogus certificates of insurance on two occasions to make it appear that his clients' businesses were insured.
Randall placed his victims in financial jeopardy and exposed the public to the danger of uninsured losses. At least one victim suffered an uninsured loss. Investigators were also able to determine that on at least one occasion Randall attempted to convince a victim not to report the crime in exchange for a 50 percent reduction in a premium.
Randall was originally arrested on Jan. 20, 2009. He was ordered not to be in possession of insurance files other than his own, not to be employed by an insurance company in any capacity or consult or advise on matters of insurance to anyone. Randall's insurance license has been suspended since his arrest.
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.
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.
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