Former Stockton, Calif. Insurance Agent Sentenced

June 7, 2005

Cordell Bunton, of Stockton, California has been sentenced to six months in the San Joaquin County jail after pleading guilty to 10 felony and two misdemeanor counts that included grand theft, insurance fraud, forgery, and transacting insurance without a license. Bunton was also ordered to make full restitution to 25 victims totaling more than $29,000.

Bunton, a licensed insurance agent and broker since 1976, pled guilty on March 9. He had operated Bunton Insurance & Financial Services. His licenses were revoked in April 2004 by the California Department of Insurance and he was arrested in December 2004 after a six-month joint investigation by the CDI Investigation Division and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Insurance Fraud Unit.

According to investigators, Bunton collected insurance premiums, issued bogus insurance certificates, and failed to remit the client’s money to the insurance company, leaving policyholders at risk. Additionally, Bunton continued to operate his insurance business after the CDI revoked his licenses.

Most of the victims who were sold phony policies were homeowners. However, one victim, a church located in Stockton, discovered that no insurance was in place when they submitted a claim for the replacement of the church’s roof damaged during a storm.

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