Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Sentencing Of Agent For Elder Abuse And Grand Theft
News: 2012 Press Release
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Donald Martin Steffensen, 73, of Midvale, Utah was sentenced on January 27 for violating Penal Code Section 368 (d) Financial Elder Abuse and Penal Code 487 Grand Theft, along with Penal Code 186.11 (a) (sentence enhancement for Fraud and Embezzlement). Steffensen entered a plea of No Contest in Madera County Superior Court.
He was sentenced to time served after more than 700 days in jail, and placed on three years probation following his release. He was also ordered to pay more than $352,000 in restitution as well as court costs.
"My Department does not tolerate insurance agents who scam innocent policyholders, especially the elderly," said Commissioner Jones. "We will make sure they are brought to justice and not allowed to continue to prey upon seniors."
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) opened an investigation into Steffensen's insurance sales practices after receiving a consumer complaint against him in 2007. The complaint alleged that while doing business as Senior Financial Benefits, Steffensen defrauded a 75-year-old
CDI revoked Steffensen's license to sell insurance in 2006. In 2009 the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Security Service extradited him from the Philippines and delivered him to CDI investigators in Los Angeles. Steffensen has one prior misdemeanor grand theft conviction for stealing $5,000 from an elderly
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $288 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $394 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 or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.