Merced insurance agent arraigned for alleged financial elder abuse
News: 2020 Press Release
MERCED, Calif. — Former insurance agent Shamron Briggs, 54, was arraigned today on two felony counts of financial elder abuse after allegedly stealing senior clients’ insurance premiums and failing to place the proper funeral insurance coverage.
After receiving a consumer complaint against Briggs, the Department of Insurance launched an investigation which found that in December 2016, Briggs sold a funeral insurance policy to a 93-year-old client and collected $2,838 for the premium. Rather than remitting the entire amount to the insurance company to pay for the policy, Briggs allegedly deposited the money into her own personal bank account and made five quarterly payments, totaling $1,235.38, to the insurance company. The remaining $1,602.62 was never remitted by Briggs and resulted in the victim receiving an insurance policy that was worth less than what she expected and paid for.
During the investigation, a second victim was identified where Briggs allegedly employed the same scheme, in which she sold a funeral insurance policy to a 90-year-old client and collected $1,600 for the premium. Again, Briggs did not remit any of the premium to the insurance company and instead deposited the funds into her personal bank account and used it for her personal benefit. As a result, the victim was unknowingly left without the insurance coverage they paid for.
The Department revoked Briggs’ insurance license on February 15, 2019. If you feel you’ve been victimized or know someone who has been victimized by Briggs, please call 661-253-7500.
The Merced County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case. Briggs is scheduled to return to court on October 29, 2020.
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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.