News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: February 18, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Guilty Plea From San Diego-Area Woman on Grand Theft Charges
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced that Mary Donna Doyle, 60, of Boulevard, Calif., plead guilty to one felony count of grand theft for stealing insurance premiums and was sentenced in San Diego Superior Court Feb. 10 to 180 days in San Diego County Jail. Her sentence was suspended and she was granted three years probation and 160 hours of community service. Doyle also was ordered to pay $1,247 in fines and fees.
"Unscrupulous brokers and agents cost this state millions of dollars from their crimes and put people and businesses at serious risk," Commissioner Poizner said. "We will never rest as we investigate these crimes and will catch those who commit them and prosecute those people to the fullest extent of the law."
A California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation alleged that Doyle collected more than $7,000 in premiums and undisclosed broker fees from a small business in Oct. 2006 for a workers' compensation policy. Although Doyle collected the full premium from the business owner, she made periodic payments to the insurance company and changed the client's mailing address to her own post office box. Doyle forwarded only $2,812 to the insurance company, resulting in a cancellation of the policy. The business owner was unaware that the policy was cancelled because the notice was sent to Doyle's P.O. Box. The trailer dealership operated without workers' compensation coverage for two months. Upon learning of the cancellation and lack of coverage, the business owner was forced to close his doors and send his employees home until a new insurance policy could be purchased.
Doyle collected more than $3,500 from a non-profit organization in 2007 for two liability policies, but failed to send the premiums to the insurance companies resulting in a cancellation of both policies. Doyle also submitted forged documents to the insurance companies.
Both victims eventually received a full refund of their premium losses by filing claims against Doyle's insurance broker bond.
The San Diego County District Attorney's office filed a felony complaint against Doyle in Nov. 2009. Doyle was originally charged with five felony counts of grand theft of personal property and forgery and she entered a guilty plea to one felony count of grand theft on Jan. 11, 2010.
Doyle was licensed by CDI as a fire and casualty broker-agent in 1986. Her insurance license lapsed in 2009 when she failed to renew it. A CDI order revoking Doyle's licensing rights will be effective March 3, 2010.
The next hearing is scheduled for March 10, 2010 to determine victim restitution.
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.
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