News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: November 23, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Arrest Of Los Angeles Life Insurance Agent For Alleged Felony Theft And Identity Theft
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced the arrest of a Los Angeles life insurance agent. Elio Accacio Ribeiro, 40, was arrested on November 18 and charged with five felony counts of grand theft and ten felony counts of identity theft. Ribeiro allegedly cancelled coverage and placed new coverage for some of his clients without their knowledge. He is being held on $500,000 bail.
"Insurance agents are trusted to look after their clients' best interests and advise them on complex insurance matters," said Commissioner Poizner. "When agents break that trust, it's wrong and it's illegal, and I will not let any crooked agents get away with it."
According to CDI Investigators, between August 2009 and June 2010, Ribeiro illegally replaced a total of ten life insurance policies which had been previously sold to his clients. Ribeiro allegedly cancelled four of his clients' insurance policies without their knowledge or authorization and replaced the insurance policies with another policy from a different insurer. Ribeiro convinced six other clients to replace their life insurance policies with a policy from a different insurer after misrepresenting to them that the insurance company was being "bought out" by another insurer or the company was "no longer providing life insurance services". Ribeiro received a total of $11,458.38 in commissions from the insurance company for placing these new policies. After discovering the illegal policy replacements, the insurer terminated Ribeiro's company appointment and reported the fraud to CDI.
This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Nearly 2,800 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by CDI since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other three 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.
If you are a member of the public wishing information, please visit our Consumer Services.