Unlicensed insurance agent sentenced to jail time for stealing nearly $30,000 from clients
News: 2019 Press Release
FRESNO, Calif. — This week, unlicensed insurance agent Marlene Pineda, 34, was sentenced in Fresno County Superior Court to 95 days in jail and five years of probation after pleading no contest to grand theft.
The conviction and sentence arose from an investigation of a consumer complaint received by the Investigation Division of the California Department of Insurance. The complaint alleged that Pineda, who was not a licensed insurance agent, stole $1,107 in insurance premiums from a client.
Investigators discovered that Pineda sold commercial and auto policies to an additional eight consumers, misrepresented their information on insurance applications and misappropriated premium funds for her own personal use. As a result of her crimes, one victim, a commercial truck driver, suffered an uninsured loss in excess of $15,000. The total amount stolen from all victims was $28,707.12.
The Fresno County District Attorney’s office prosecuted the case. The amount Pineda will be ordered in to pay in restitution will be determined at a later date.
People can check the license status of their agent or contact the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357 if they suspect they are victims of insurance fraud.
Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.