Insurance Agent Carlos Chavez of Long Beach, Calif., has been charged with one felony count of elder abuse, three felony counts of computer fraud and four felony counts of grand theft, the California Department of Insurance announced. If convicted on all counts, Chavez faces a maximum of six years in prison. Bail is set at $130,000.
According to CDI investigators, Chavez collected at least $6,895 from five clients between August 2006 and September 2007, for the purpose of purchasing insurance products (homeowners, commercial general liability and workers’ compensation). Chavez placed coverage for two of his clients, but allegedly failed to remit any premium, resulting in the insurance company sending cancellation notices on both policies. Both of these clients paid premium directly to the insurance company to reinstate their policies.
Chavez allegedly failed to place and remit premium to any insurance company for the other three clients and purportedly issued bogus certificates of insurance to two of these clients to give the impression that the coverage was legitimate, the DOI said. Chavez’s alleged scam was discovered by the son of one of the victims, a senior citizen, who contacted Chavez to file a claim when his father’s home was damaged in a fire. This victim had neither received a certificate of insurance nor a policy from Chavez. This victim subsequently discovered from the insurance company named in the quote that Chavez failed to place his coverage, resulting in an uncovered loss to the senior exceeding $60,000. This victim subsequently filed a complaint with the Department of Insurance.
This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
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