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News: 2011 Press Release

For Release: March 2, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Jones Announces Conviction Of Rancho Mirage Insurance Agent For Application Fraud
Agent used other person’s social security number

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Steven Ray Stark, 38, has been convicted on one count of providing false, fraudulent, or materially misleading information in support of an application for admission to an insurance license examination. Stark was sentenced to three years probation and a fine including fees totaling $593.00.

"Examination fraud negatively affects the fair and level playing field for all applicants and it will be fully investigated by my Department," said Commissioner Dave Jones. "Those who would seek entrance into a licensing examination by using the social security number of another person will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

In January of 2010 Stark was a licensed life agent and the provider director for Upward Bound Training Solutions, a California Department of Insurance (CDI) certified pre-licensing education provider. On January 22, 2010 Stark used another person's social security number to gain admittance to and take the CDI life agent license examination. The CDI examination proctor recognized Stark as someone who had taken the exam before and through her diligence she discovered that Stark had taken the exam before using a different social security number. The proctor notified CDI's Investigation Division and an investigation was initiated.

Upon completion of the investigation, CDI 's Legal Division served Stark with an Order of Administrative Bar on October 4, 2010. As a part of this order Stark's life agent license was revoked. The case was simultaneously referred for prosecution to the San Diego County District Attorney's office, which resulted in this conviction.

Stark has been placed on informal probation for three years with imposition of the sentence suspended for three years. Probation conditions include paying fines and fees, that Stark violates no laws, and one day of custody. As a condition of his probation Stark has also been ordered to not engage in the business of insurance, including any and all acts necessary or incidental to the writing of insurance or the reinsuring of risks by an insurer; and to not engage in any activities involving pre-licensing and continuing education for prospective and current licensees of the California Department of Insurance or any other State insurance licensing entity.

As a further condition of his probation Stark will write a statement admitting to his crime and detailing what he has learned from his transgressions. 

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 million in claims and premiums. 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. Out-of-state callers, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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