Calif. Broker Sentenced in Small Business Scam

July 14, 2004

Suzanne Rita Beall, 50, was sentenced on July 12 to three years in state prison for grand theft, possession of forged documents with intent to defraud, and embezzlement from an elder, at the Yolo County Superior Court in Woodland, Calif.

Beall, a licensed independent insurance broker and agent since 1982, operated Northside Insurance Agency Inc., in West Sacramento. She was arrested in August of 2001. Yolo County Superior Court Judge Stephen Mock ordered Beall to make restitution of $22,000 to four small businesses. The victims of the insurance scam included a Davis nursery school, two Sacramento pool companies and a restaurant.

A joint investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Investigation Division and the Yolo County District Attorney’s office exposed Beall’s fraudulent insurance scheme.

“I am very happy we have succeeded in putting Ms. Beall out of business and behind bars,” said state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. “She systematically ripped off people by selling phony insurance policies and defrauding unsuspecting small businesses. My department will continue to investigate those who cheat the system by selling fraudulent insurance. Defrauding a nursery school is a despicable crime and a scam that hurts everyone.”

According to CDI investigators, Beall collected premiums from consumers, issued the owners forged certificates of insurance, and kept the premium money for herself. The scam became evident to victims when an accident or claim occurred and the “insured” businesses contacted Beall only to learn that they didn’t have valid liability or workers’ comp insurance coverage.

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