News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: February 22, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Licensing Action on Riverside County Man in Alleged $4 Million Insurance Scam
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced that James William Riley, 46, of Murrieta has been prohibited from working in the insurance industry in any manner pending the outcome of his trial on multiple counts of grand theft, money laundering and commercial bribery. He is scheduled to be arraigned March 15, 2010 in the Riverside County Hall of Justice.
Ryan Jay Robinson, 39, of Temecula also was charged with multiple counts of grand theft and commercial bribery after a California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation alleged he and Riley stole approximately $4 million from the Pechanga Resort & Casino in an insurance scam. Both were arrested Feb. 2.
"This licensing action means the public is protected and those people accused of these types of crimes cannot sell policies or even work in an agency or brokerage," Commissioner Poizner said. "People who steal insurance funds will be caught and we will see to it that they are prosecuted. The laws of this state demand nothing less."
Riley is an insurance broker for Riley, Garrison & Associates and Robinson is a former chief financial officer for the casino. In June 2007, CDI received a complaint from the casino and the Pechanga Development Corporation alleging that there was a discrepancy of approximately $6 million in the amount of insurance premiums paid to Riley, Garrison & Associates for insurance coverage and the actual cost of the premiums.
The CDI investigation alleges that Riley fraudulently disguised the funds as fees and premiums. Robinson allegedly authorized the insurance transactions and received more than $100,000 in kickbacks from Riley. The money that Riley gave Robinson was allegedly moved through multiple accounts before being withdrawn in the form of cashier's checks.
The Riverside County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case. Riley was freed Feb. 9 on $1,002,500 bail, while Robinson is still in jail with a bail amount set at $1,252,500. Riley's license will be revoked if he is found guilty.
Commissioner Poizner oversees 16 CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Approximately 2,000 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.
If you are a member of the public wishing information, please visit our Consumer Services.