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News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: August 31, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Sentencing of Former Life Agent for Grand Theft
Penn Valley Man Sold Fraudulent Annuities to Senior

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Alvin Leroy Black, 75, of Penn Valley, was sentenced in the Nevada County Superior Court to 180 days in County Jail and five years of supervised probation, for violating Penal Code Section 487(a), Grand Theft. Black must also participate in theft counseling and has been ordered to pay $204,777.93 in restitution. Black pled guilty to a single felony count of grand theft in March of this year.

According to Investigators from the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Investigations Division, between July 2001 and August 2004, Black sold his 80 year-old victim seven annuity policies with a deposit amount totaling $1,535,000 without fully disclosing the terms of the annuities and without her full understanding of what she was purchasing. Black earned $87,336 in commissions for transacting the annuities.

The investigation revealed that in March 2003, Black formed a California non-profit corporation, in the name of the victim, without the knowledge or consent of the victim. Black had the victim sign documents to change the beneficiary and the ownership of all her annuities to the foundation without her knowledge of what she was signing. Black submitted the change of ownership forms and change of beneficiary forms to the insurance company also without her knowledge or consent. Black eventually cashed three of the policies for a total amount of $224,703.89, causing the victim to incur surrender charges of over $26,919.74 as well as income tax liabilities. Black received and deposited the money into the foundation's bank account and used the funds for his personal gain. The victim was never given access to the foundation's bank account.

CDI revoked Alvin Black's insurance license on December 30, 2010.

The investigation was conducted jointly by the CDI Investigation Division and the Office of the Attorney General's Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse.

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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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