Calif. Agent Arrested on Financial Elder Abuse Charge

November 22, 2005

A life insurance agent in Los Angeles has been arrested and charged with Financial Elder Abuse following an investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Investigation Division.

Alberto Luis Chavarria, 69, of Commerce, was charged with one felony count of Financial Elder Abuse for allegedly stealing premium payments given to him by a senior citizen. The arrest was made Nov. 16 with the assistance of the CDI Fraud Division, and bail is set at $50,000. If convicted, Chavarria faces a maximum of four years in prison.

According to investigators Chavarria was contacted by the victim in 2002. She was seeking a life insurance policy to cover her funeral expenses so she would not be a burden to her family when she passed away. Chavarria went to the victim’s house and sold her an $8,000 life insurance policy.

That same year Chavarria sent an application for her policy to Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company and the initial payment of $196.34. He instructed the victim to make the quarterly premium payments directly to him using money orders. But instead of sending the premiums to Boston Mutual, investigators allege that Chavarria kept the $1,767.06 for his personal use.

The alleged scam was discovered by the director of an adult day care center that the victim attended. The director, who helped her complete money orders for premium payments, noticed earlier this year that the payments were being made directly to Chavarria. Boston Mutual was notified, and informed the center director that the victim’s policy had been cancelled for non-payment of premium in late 2002.

Boston Mutual then terminated Chavarria’s agent appointment and reinstated the woman’s policy.

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