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CA Department of Insurance

Orange County insurance agent arrested for scamming insurers for $1.4 million in commissions

News: 2014 Press Release

For Release: October 6, 2014
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Orange County insurance agent arrested for  scamming insurers for $1.4 million in commissions

ORANGE, Calif. - Eric Lee, 64, of Orange County was arrested Friday by the Department of Insurance and charged with 20 felony counts, including grand theft and allegedly providing false or misleading information to an insurer during a scheme that netted him over $1.4 million in fraudulent commissions.

"It's unfortunate that there are dishonest agents that violate their fiduciary responsibilities," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "The Department of Insurance regulates more than 360,000 licensed agents and brokers who work hard to be professional and honest in their business practices."

The Department of Insurance began its investigation of Lee in January 2011 after an audit revealed many of Lee's policies failed to have any premium payments after the first policy year. Investigators believe Lee directed policyholders to complete fraudulent applications with false or misleading information and insufficient financial means to pay for the insurance policies being written. As a result, Lee received $1,403,897 in fraudulently obtained commission payments between October 2009 and October 2010.

Lee is being prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney's Office with bail set at $1,403,897 and is required to show that bail funds are not from money obtained through his scheme. Lee is scheduled to appear in court today for his arraignment. 

This case is being investigated and prosecuted under the Life and Annuity Consumer Protection Program (LACPP). LACPP provides grant funds to counties for the prosecution of financial abuse in life insurance and annuity product transactions.

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Media Notes:

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 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 web site at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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