News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: October 29, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Arrest of Inglewood Life Insurance Agent on Grand Theft and Identity Theft Charges
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced that life insurance agent Kerry Urban Hunter, 50, of Inglewood, has been arrested and charged with one felony count of grand theft and one felony count of identity theft in connection with an investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance. Hunter has pled not guilty and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 6.
"Insurance fraud is a $500 tax on every man, woman and child in California," said Commissioner Poizner. "We will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute all those who seek to defraud the system."
According to CDI investigators, in 2008 Hunter allegedly received $5,177 in advance commissions from an unsuspecting life insurer after submitting 18 bogus insurance applications on behalf of nine people for supplemental medical policies.
The insurance company conducted its own investigation after noticing that a high number of applications were cancelled due to premium payments returned for insufficient funds. It was discovered that Hunter used his bank checking account information on the applications and that the applications contained incorrect dates of birth, social security numbers and addresses. Attempts by the life insurer to locate the applicants were not successful. CDI Investigators were able to locate one individual identified on one of the bogus applications. The man said he did not know Hunter and had no intentions of purchasing a policy from him.
The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Administrative action against Hunter's insurance license is pending with CDI. He was arrested on Oct. 9, 2009.
Commissioner Poizner oversees 16 CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Approximately 1,900 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by the Department of Insurance's enforcement division since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other two-year period under any previous insurance commissioner.
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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