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CA Department of Insurance

Sentencing Update - Former insurance claim adjuster pleads guilty for embezzling more than $289k

News: 2016 Press Release

For Release: May 23, 2016
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Sentencing Update - Former insurance claim adjuster pleads guilty for embezzling more than $289k
Claims adjuster crafted elaborate fraud scheme using family and friends

Sentencing Update

Suspect sentenced to four years in state prison for insurance fraud

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Elizabeth Louise Brown, 48, of Canyon Country, a former claims adjuster with Explorer Insurance, pleaded guilty to two counts of insurance fraud with a white collar crime enhancement penalty for crafting an elaborate scheme to defraud her employer, Explorer Insurance out of more than $289,000. Brown was sentenced to four years in state prison and ordered to pay $289,999 in restitution.

According to Department of Insurance detectives, between January 2013 and September 2015, while employed by Explorer Insurance as a claims adjuster, Brown embezzled from the company by adding friends and family members to claims, which resulted in the insurer issuing fraudulent payments to Brown's co-conspirators. In the end, Brown embezzled more than $289,999 from her employers.

"Brown's crimes were an egregious violation of her trusted position as an insurance professional," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Her conviction, prison sentence, and ordered restitution illustrates the good work by department detectives and the Los Angeles County district attorney in holding Brown accountable for her crimes."

Fifteen of Brown's co-conspirators were also arrested and to date, seven have entered guilty pleas. Another four suspects remain at large and are being sought by department detectives.

Evidence of Brown's alleged crimes were discovered by Explorer Insurance when they identified fraudulent checks issued in 87 claims assigned to her. Explorer terminated Brown's employment and, as required by law, reported the suspected crimes to the department, which launched a criminal investigation. This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office Auto Insurance Fraud Division.

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Media Notes:

Elizabeth L. Brown pleaded guilty to two counts of PC 550 (b)(2)-insurance fraud, with an admission to a PC 186.11 allegation. Photos of suspects in custody available on Flickr:

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 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 website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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