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CA Department of Insurance

Former Los Angeles agent admits to embezzling from clients

News: 2016 Press Release

For Release: March 7, 2016
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Former Los Angeles agent admits to embezzling from clients
Pocketed clients’ insurance premiums for personal use, leaving clients without coverage

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Julie Diane Shinar, 44, of Long Beach was convicted of theft by embezzlement and sentenced on February 26 in Long Beach Superior. Shinar was ordered to serve three years formal probation and pay $29,158 in restitution to her victims.

Shinar received cash payments from clients and instead of remitting the payments to the insurance carrier, used the funds for her own benefit between November 2011 and February2013. Similar to a Ponzi scheme, Shinar used payments from some clients to cover the policy premiums for whose cash she embezzled. Clients who paid by check never received a policy and most clients were unaware of Shinar's action. The embezzlement was discovered during a routine insurance company audit of Shinar's trust account.

"Shinar violated her fiduciary responsibility as a trusted insurance broker to scam consumers," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Shinar's theft left policyholders exposed to significant financial risk, leaving them liable and without coverage."

During the course of the insurance carrier's investigation, Shinar admitted to keeping the policyholders' premiums for her personal use. The insurance company terminated Shinar and notified the department of the misappropriation of funds, which prompted this investigation.

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Media Note:

Julie Shinar's booking photo:

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 Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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