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CA Department of Insurance
CA Department of Insurance
CA Department of Insurance

West Hollywood insurance producer charged with felony fraud, burglary and grand theft

News: 2019 Press Release

For Release: April 10, 2019
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
West Hollywood insurance producer charged with felony fraud, burglary and grand theft

CASE UPDATE

Susan Winett, 64, pleaded guilty to one felony count of forgery and was sentenced to three years of formal probation, 240 hours of community service, and no involvement in the insurance industry during probation.

Cunningham died of natural causes on August 30, 2020, his charges were dismissed.

 

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Former licensed insurance producer Jon Cunningham, 57, has been charged with a dozen felony counts of fraud, including first degree burglary, grand theft, theft from an elder and filing false tax returns after allegedly stealing more than $418,000 in premium payments. His co-conspirator Susan Winett, 64, of Van Nuys was charged with five felony counts of grand theft for her role in the scheme.

“This insurance scheme targeted seniors, leaving them financially vulnerable after a lifetime of hard work,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “The Department of Insurance will aggressively investigate fraud to protect our seniors from those looking to exploit them.”

From 2017 to 2019, Cunningham, in his role as an insurance producer, allegedly collected premium payments from six victims for commercial liability, workers’ compensation, property, renewals and other policies and used the money for his personal use. Winett’s role in the scheme was forging insurance documents for Cunningham. Their victims’ homes, businesses, automobiles, property, and employees were left uninsured and exposed to loss.

Cunningham enlisted Winett in his scheme to forge policy documents and invoices. 

This case was prosecuted by the White Collar Crime Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. 

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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 www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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