Former AFG Claims Adjuster Arraigned on Grand Theft, Forgery Charges

May 5, 2005

A former American Financial Group claims adjuster/litigation specialist was arrested April 27 and charged with embezzling his employer out of more than $490,000 during his employment in the Los Angeles area office between 1998 and 2004.

The arrest is the result of an investigation by the California Department of Insurance Investigation Division. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office Major Fraud Division has filed one count of grand theft and one count of forgery against Stephen Glenn Pirkey for his alleged criminal activities. Bail was set at $400,000.

Pirkey allegedly issued at least 135 insurance settlement drafts over a period of six years to his friends knowing that they had no legitimate claims against his employer. Pirkey allegedly used his authority as a senior adjuster to access his employer’s reserve funds.

Pirkey, a.k.a. Steve Gambino, allegedly misrepresented the source of the drafts to his friends and sought their assistance in converting the drafts into cash. Pirkey also represented himself as a well-connected entertainment lawyer and a member of the Gambino family to the same individuals in order to gain their trust.

The investigation was launched in June 2004 when the CDI received a complaint from Pirkey’s employer.

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