Sentencing update on ex-insurance broker arrested for embezzlement
News: 2014 Press Release
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - John Monreal, 46, of Torrance pleaded no contest to one felony count of grand theft of funds, one count of diverting funds for personal use, and was ordered to pay over $12,000 in restitution to his victims.
"The fact that Monreal used his experience as a past insurance agent broker to rip off his customers is insulting," said Commissioner Dave Jones. "Our department is dedicated to finding and bringing to justice unscrupulous people like Monreal who violate their fiduciary responsibility in the name of greed."
Monreal scammed multiple consumers into believing they were insured while he collected their premiums and only passed on part of the payment to the insurer. A department investigation found that Monreal continued to act as a broker after his license was revoked in 2010 at his business, the John Monreal Insurance Agency. Monreal issued checks to insurance carriers for insurance policies that were eventually cancelled due to insufficient funds or partial payment.
As part of Monreal's scheme, he convinced clients to pay the full annual premium on an insurance policy in exchange for a reduced rate. He would further insist that checks for the policies be made payable to him. He provided victims with a certificate of insurance that indicated they were covered, but in reality only a portion of the premium was remitted to the insurance carrier, leaving Monreal's clients without coverage. In many cases, the consumers only realized that they had been defrauded when a collection agency representing the insurance company contacted them.
Monreal was prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office and returns to court for sentencing on December 9, 2014.
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- Booking photo available on CDI Flickr page.
- Insurance license details for John Joseph Monreal, license number 0B74299.
- Arrested on May 30, 2014 by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
- Pleaded no contest to one count CIC 1733 and one count PC 487.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 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 $469 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.