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CA Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announces arrest of Bay Area Agent for Grand Theft

Dave Althausen
December 30, 2011 9:34 AM

On December 1, 2011, Timothy Sean Hamilton, 52, was arrested on one felony count for violating Penal Code section 487, Grand Theft, and was booked at the Contra Costa County Jail. His bail was set at $114,900.00. Hamilton faces a potential three-year state prison sentence if convicted. Due to the dollar amount of theft, Hamilton also faces a potential extra year in state prison pursuant to Penal Code Section 12022.6(a)(1).

According to investigators, on or about June 23, 2011, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) received a complaint from a homeowners association located in Avalon, CA. The association alleged that in March, 2011, Hamilton - owner/operator of Hamilton Sterling Insurance Services - embezzled $114,900.00 in insurance premiums. It was alleged that Hamilton used the money for personal gain instead of remitting the premium for the association's liability insurance policy.

The investigation revealed that in March 2011, Hamilton invoiced the homeowners association for the renewal of their seven existing insurance policies. The combined amount of each individual premium for each of the seven policies totaled $226,364.59, which was to be paid by check and deposited into Hamilton Sterling's US Bank account. The homeowner's association deposited a check into Hamilton's trust account for the amount of insurance premiums. Hamilton used the entrusted funds to pay six of the renewal policies, but failed to remit $114,900.00 of the premium on the primary liability insurance policy. Subsequently, the homeowner's association was forced to remit an additional $114,900.00 directly to their insurance carrier, in order to have the primary liability policy reinstated.

This case was investigated by the Investigation Division, Criminal Operation Point of Sale (COPS) Unit and is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office - Long Beach Branch Office, pending the extradition of Hamilton to Los Angeles.



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