Former San Diego Broker Sentenced in Premium Theft Scam

March 3, 2006

California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi on Friday reported the sentencing of former San Diego insurance broker Roberto Molina Jr., 55, to 180 days in jail and three years of probation stemming from an investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI).

Molina was sentenced Feb. 24 for selling insurance policies to several consumers but failing to obtain the actual insurance. He was the owner and broker of R. Molina Insurance Services, formerly known as Car Insurance Agency. A restitution hearing is scheduled for March 8.

The CDI’s Investigation Division received four complaints during 2002 through 2004, all alleging insurance fraud involving premium theft by Molina. Evidence seized from Molina’s office in 2004 reportedly disclosed names of clients and policies that had not been placed after premiums were paid to Molina.

Seven individuals who purchased auto insurance policies from Molina were involved in auto accidents; these victims thought they were insured when in reality they were without insurance coverage due to Molina’s failure to forward the premium funds to the insurance companies.

Since the execution of the search warrants, another victim – a 62-year old woman who suffered personal injuries – reported having an accident in March 2005 after paying Molina for her insurance policy. Unbeknownst to her, she had no insurance coverage at the time of her accident. The documented total loss from the eight victims is $79,427. On Sept. 20, 2005, during his arraignment hearing, San Diego Superior Court Judge David Szumowski ordered Molina to stop selling insurance.

On Nov. 30, 2005, Molina pled guilty to two felony counts; one count of insurance fraud and one count of grand theft. Prior to sentencing, Molina had already paid $52,000 for the loss caused by accidents of four individual victims.

The amount sought for additional restitution, $70,000, is being evaluated due to personal injuries suffered by two victims and potential additional medical expenses.


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