Calif. Insurance Agent Pleads Guilty to Grand Theft

February 1, 2010

Long Beach, Calif., resident Matthew Shawn Bissell has pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand theft in the Orange County Superior Court, the California Department of Insurance reported. He has been sentenced to five years probation, ordered to pay $43,000 in restitution to seven victims and to perform 150 hours of community service.

According to CDI, Bissell owned an operated Bissell Insurance Services in Los Alamitos, Calif., and sold a variety of insurance policies including general liability, property and commercial. A CDI investigation alleged that Bissell took premium checks from businesses under the pretense of securing coverage but failed to do so and deposited the checks into his personal bank account. The alleged crime exposed the business owners to extreme financial risk.

Between Jan. 2005 and Jan. 2007, CDI received numerous complaints about Bissell. Bissell also allegedly accepted premium refund checks and failed to forward the funds to the businesses. Bissell also allegedly issued bogus certificates of insurance, the Department said.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.

Bissell’s fire and casualty insurance license expired Sept. 30, 2006 and was not renewed.

Source: CDI

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