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News: 2012 Press Release
For Release: February 15, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Arrest of Agent in Commercial Auto Insurance Scam
Father, Daughter Arrested and Charged with Theft in $62,000 Case
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Willy E. Poelman, 75, and his daughter Debbie Nio, 51, both of Upland, California have been arrested and charged with three felony counts each of violating Penal Code Section 532, Theft by false pretenses. Both suspects were booked into San Bernardino County jail, their bail set at $50,000 each.
According to investigators, several victims had made premium payments to WNP Insurance Services, Inc. in Upland operated by Nio and Poelman, for the purpose of securing commercial automobile insurance coverage. However, the suspects submitted fraudulent information to the insurance carriers about the policyholders' activities exposing the customers to potential uncovered losses and the insurance companies to risk they were unaware of. Further investigation revealed Nio also charged customers for changes to their policies when none were required, and that she kept the money for personal use. To date this case has over $62,000 in losses and over $8,000 in premium loss with more potential victims who were defrauded by WNP coming forward.
Poelman was arraigned in San Bernardino Superior Court on February 10, 2011 and subsequently released on his own recognizance. Nio failed to appear at her arraignment and a warrant for her arrest has been issued.
This case was investigated by the California Department of Insurance's Investigation Division, Criminal Operation Point of Sale (COPS) Unit and the case is being prosecuted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office. If you believe that you may have been a victim of WNP Insurance Services, please contact the California Department of Insurance, Inland Empire Regional Office at (909) 919-2200.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 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.