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News: 2011 Press Release
For Release: November 3, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Conviction and Sentencing of Central Valley Woman for Insurance Fraud
Former Agent/Broker convicted of Theft of Fiduciary Funds
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced the conviction and sentencing of Martha Jane Terry, 63, for one felony count of fiduciary theft by an insurance agent or broker. Terry has been placed on three years formal probation and ordered to serve 120 days in the county jail.
Additionally, the Court has ordered that Terry pay restitution to her victims in an amount that has been estimated at $33,540.70.
Terry was arrested on December 13, 2010 and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail. She was later released after posting $20,000 bail. She was originally charged with 33 felony counts related to Grand Theft; Embezzlement and Theft of Fiduciary Funds.
On January 12, 2011, the California Department of Insurance issued an Order of Immediate Suspension against Martha Jane Terry pursuant to Section 1748.5(e)(1) of the California Insurance Code. The criminal complaint alleges that from October 2006 to September 2010, Martha Jane Terry stole and embezzled premiums from 11 consumers while acting as a licensed Broker/Agent at the Hughson Insurance Agency in Hughson, California, just outside of Modesto. According to CDI investigators, Martha Terry did not have the authority to operate under the business name of Hughson Insurance.
CDI Investigators found that Martha Terry received payments for homeowner's and automobile insurance, but either failed to place the insurance or did not remit the full premiums to the insurer. In some cases, Martha issued the clients cash receipts and gave them automobile insurance ID cards showing they were insured, only to find that there was no insurance after being involved in an accident. When one of her alleged victims was involved in an accident and discovered she had no insurance, she sued Martha Terry and won a judgment against her for $7,500.00.
Terry's license to sell insurance has been revoked by the California Department of Insurance.
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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