News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: February 8, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Arrest of Riverside County Duo in Alleged $4 Million Insurance Scam
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced the arrests of James William Riley, 46, of Murrieta and Ryan Jay Robinson, 39, of Temecula on multiple counts of grand theft and commercial bribery after a California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation alleged the duo stole approximately $4 million from the Pechanga Resort & Casino in an insurance scam. Riley was also charged with money laundering.
"Insurance fraud costs each and every one of us an average of $500 a year in higher premiums," Commissioner Poizner said. "People who steal insurance funds will be caught and we will see to it that they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Riley is an insurance broker for Riley, Garrison & Associates and Robinson is a former chief financial officer for the casino. In June 2007, CDI received a complaint from the casino and the Pechanga Development Corporation alleging that there was a discrepancy of approximately $6 million in the amount of insurance premiums paid to Riley, Garrison & Associates for insurance coverage and the actual cost of the premiums.
The CDI investigation alleges that Riley fraudulently disguised the funds as fees and premiums. Robinson allegedly authorized the insurance transactions and received more than $100,000 in kickbacks from Riley. The money that Riley gave Robinson was allegedly moved through multiple accounts before being withdrawn in the form of cashier's checks.
The defendants are schedule to be arraigned Feb. 18 at the Riverside County Hall of Justice. The Riverside County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case. A decision on Riley's insurance broker's license is pending.
Commissioner Poizner oversees 16 CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Approximately 2,000 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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