Former Westlake Village insurance agent arraigned in $55,000 senior insurance scam
News: 2020 Press Release
On August 31, 2021, former insurance agent Joseph Schimmel appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court and pleaded no contest to three felony counts of grand theft and three felony counts of financial elder abuse. He was sentenced to two years of formal probation, ordered to perform 450 hours of community service, and ordered to pay full restitution to his victims. The total amount he paid back to his victims was $60,449.43.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Former Westlake Village insurance agent, Joseph Schimmel, was arraigned on multiple felony counts of grand theft, burglary, and financial elder abuse for allegedly stealing over $55,000 in clients’ insurance premiums. Four of his clients were seniors.
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance alleges that Schimmel, while doing business as Schimmel Insurance Services, Inc., from December 2018 through December 2019 victimized six clients by collecting $55,564.66 in insurance premiums, yet failed to place the appropriate coverage. Unbeknownst to his clients, Schimmel funneled their money to his own personal account and failed to purchase their insurance coverage. Schimmel’s embezzlement left his clients exposed to potential substantial financial losses as a result of being uninsured.
The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Schimmel self-surrendered on Friday, August 21, 2020, to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in San Fernando. Bail was set at $180,000 and he was released on his own recognizance.
The Department of Insurance filed an accusation against Schimmel on May 8, 2020. Schimmel’s license expired on June 30, 2020. He was the principal owner of Schimmel Insurance Services, Inc. with license #0I67483 which expired on December 31, 2019.
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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.