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CA Department of Insurance
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CA Department of Insurance

Former Westlake Village insurance agent arraigned in $55,000 senior insurance scam

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: August 24, 2020
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
Former Westlake Village insurance agent arraigned in $55,000 senior insurance scam

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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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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