L.A. Broker Sentenced for Insurance Premium Theft

September 2, 2004

On Aug. 31, Lory Caballero, of Eagle Rock, Calif., a licensed insurance agent and owner of L.C. Insurance Agency, was convicted of one count of felony grand theft. She was sentenced to five years of formal probation, 20 days of community service and ordered to pay $25,000 restitution to a victim for an uninsured loss.

The case was initiated by the California Department of Insurance, Investigation Division (CDI) after the department received consumer complaints about Caballero and L.C Insurance Agency. The subsequent investigation revealed that Caballero sold insurance policies to Spanish-speaking consumers in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles. Caballero collected premiums from consumers but did not remit the money to any legitimate insurance company. Caballero’s fraudulent activities exposed at least one injured party to an uninsured loss following an auto accident.

According to CDI, Caballero targeted the Spanish-speaking community so that any language barrier experienced by the consumer would help shield her fraudulent business practices. One victim became concerned because no proof of insurance was received from the purported insurance company. When confronted with this concern, Caballero created excuses for the non-receipt of the proof of coverage.

CDI suspects there are more victims in the L.A. area, particularly Eagle Rock, who are unaware of the fraud committed upon them. If a consumer believes he or she may be a victim of Caballero or L.C. Insurance Agency, please call the CDI hotline at (800) 927-HELP (4357).

CDI urges consumers to verify the licensing status of any agent prior to buying insurance. Once a consumer receives a copy of the policy, the insurance company should be contacted directly to verify the policy is accurate and in force. For more information, consumers can contact the aforementioned CDI hotline or visit the CDI Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov.

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