Arraignment set for insurance agent on felony ID and grand theft charges
News: 2016 Press Release
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Melissa Grimmesey, 42, of Santa Maria, is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday, August 10 at 8:30 a.m. in the Santa Maria Division Courthouse Department 9, in Santa Barbara County on nine felony charges, including embezzlement, ID, and grand theft.
Grimmesey, a former licensed insurance agent employed as a customer service representative for an insurance agency, allegedly stole premiums from policyholders who paid cash for insurance premiums and then used other customers' credit cards to repay the stolen premiums.
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance Investigation Division revealed Grimmesey allegedly recorded the cash payments in the computer system and then deleted the transactions to avoid detection.
"Grimmesey's alleged crimes left some policyholders without coverage and at financial risk to loss," said Insurance Commissioner Jones. "Consumers should check their credit card statements regularly for any unauthorized transactions and make sure they receive an actual policy from the insurance company after paying a premium."
This case is being prosecuted by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's office.
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Grimmesey is being charged with nine felony counts, including one count of grand theft PC 487(b)(3), one count of embezzlement PC 503, one count of theft of funds by a fiduciary IC 1733, five counts of identity theft PC 530.5(a), and one count of unauthorized access to a computer system PC 502(c)(1).
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. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.