News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: February 26, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces Arrest of Lawndale Insurance Agent on Grant Theft Charges
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced that Daniel Rafael Carmona, 54, of Lawndale was arrested and charged with one count of felony grand theft of insurance premiums. Bail was set at $20,000 and Carmona faces as many as three years in prison if convicted.
"Agents who steal insurance premiums expose their victims to significant financial risk," Commissioner Poizner said. "Because of this, my department responds quickly to all complaints from consumers and insurance companies and we will work with law enforcement to bring these people to justice."
A complaint filed by a surplus line broker initiated a California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation alleging that Carmona collected $4,583 in premium payments from victims for commercial property insurance and he failed to provide coverage or refund the premium. Carmona submitted an insurance application to a surplus lines broker on behalf of the victims and on Aug. 10, 2006 the policy was issued.
It was determined during the investigation that the policy was cancelled on Oct. 30, 2006 due to Carmona's failure to remit the premiums to the broker. The victims were never notified their policy was cancelled and continued to make subsequent payments of $2,583 on Aug. 10, 2007 and $2,000 on Sept. 17, 2008 to Carmona. The victims made these payments based on renewal quotes they received from Carmona. Carmona failed to remit these premiums and, instead, used the funds for his personal use, thus exposing the victims to possible grave financial loss for more than two years.
Disciplinary action against Carmona's insurance license is pending.
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 three-year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
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