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News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: June 25, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Conviction of Former Los Angeles Life Agent
Agent Stole More Than $1 Million from Elderly Clients

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Joseph Conlon, 73, of Los Angeles was sentenced to two years in state prison after pleading guilty to one felony count of Financial Elder Abuse, and two felony counts of Grand Theft. In addition, he was ordered to pay restitution of more than $1 Million, which was the amount he stole from his victims.

According to investigators from the Investigation Division, Criminal Operations - Point of Sale [C.O.P.S.] Unit, in 2011 CDI received complaints that alleged Life Insurance Agent Conlon diverted premium funds clients gave him to purchase life insurance products and annuities. The investigation confirmed that instead of buying those products for his clients, he took the money for his own personal use. Conlon hid the theft by giving the victims false documents purporting to be from an insurance company. When the victims confronted Conlon about their money he continued to mislead them. Two of the victims were 82 and 86-years-old respectively, and the money they gave him made up a major portion of their retirement funds. Conlon was arrested at his home in Los Angeles on April 24, 2012 and the details of that arrest are available to the public.

The case was prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office under the Life and Annuity Consumer Protection Program (LACPP). LACPP provides grant funds to counties for the prosecution of financial abuse in life insurance and annuity product transactions.

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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.

If you are a member of the public wishing information, please visit our Consumer Services.

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