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CA Department of Insurance

Sentencing Update - Ventura man convicted a second time for investment scam targeting seniors

News: 2016 Press Release

For Release: May 25, 2016
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Sentencing Update - Ventura man convicted a second time for investment scam targeting seniors
Authorities concerned there are more victims

Rod Scott Hormell was sentenced to five years for fraudulent sale of securities, four years for elder abuse, and three years for theft all to be served concurrently for a total of five years in state prison. Hormell was also ordered to pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $332,282 plus interest.


VENTURA, Calif. – Rod Scott Hormell, 59, of Ventura, pleaded guilty on May 23, to two felony counts, including fraudulent sale of securities and theft from an elder with a special enhancement for theft over $100,000. Hormell was sentenced to five years in state prison and ordered to pay $100,000 restitution to his victim.

Acting as a financial planner, Hormell convinced a woman in 2003 to invest $100,000 in RRV Group, which he represented as a senior board and care housing development, which turned out to be a scam. Hormell kept the rouse going by sending the victim spreadsheets that reflected a profit for her investment.

After the victim passed away, her daughter and only beneficiary, attempted to contact Hormell, but was unable to locate him. An Internet search led her to find Hormell was convicted for financial crimes against seniors in 2013.

The victim's daughter contacted the Ventura County Sheriff's office, which led to an investigation by the Sheriff's Major Crimes Division. After a search warrant uncovered insurance documents, the Sheriff called on the Department of Insurance Investigation Division for their insurance crime expertise.

Evidence revealed there was no senior board and care housing development and the security was a fraud. Hormell was convicted of a similar financial elder abuse crime in 2013 where he acted as an elderly woman's financial planner and scammed her out of $65,000. Following Hormell's first conviction in 2013, the Department of Insurance permanently revoked his agent's license—a revocation he defied when he continued targeting seniors with his investment and financial plan scams.

"Hormell is every consumer's worst nightmare," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "After being convicted once and having his agent license permanently revoked, he continued to defy the revocation and heartlessly scam seniors."

Hormell was arrested May 11, 2015 on the new charges and remained incarcerated until his conviction this week.

Authorities are concerned Hormell may have more victims that are unaware they are holding bogus investment securities. Anyone who used Hormell as a financial planner should contact the Department of Insurance toll-free hotline at 800-927-4357.

The Department of Insurance has issued an Insurance Wide Industry Ban and Cease and Desist Order to Hormell, which bars him from transacting insurance business. Formal sentencing is scheduled for June 21 in Ventura County Superior Court.

This case was prosecuted by the Ventura County District Attorney's office.

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Media Notes:

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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