Sentencing Update - Bakersfield agent arrested for embezzlement
News: 2016 Press Release
Jose Luis Yanez, Jr. pleaded guilty to one felony count of embezzlement on May 18, 2016. Yanez's plea will include three years probation and 180 days of community service. Formal sentencing will be on June 16, 2016.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Jose Luis Yanez, Jr., 36, of Bakersfield, surrendered to authorities and was arraigned in Kern County Superior Court on March 29. Yanez is charged with one felony count of grand theft and one felony count of embezzlement for allegedly stealing consumers' premiums and not placing the coverage they purchased.
Department of Insurance investigators responded to an allegation from an insurer that terminated Yanez's employment when they uncovered evidence that he accepted cash payments for premiums from consumers, did not place the coverage they purchased, and pocketed their premiums for his personal use.
"Yanez's alleged theft left homeowners without coverage and at great financial risk to loss," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "I have zero tolerance for agents who violate their fiduciary responsibility and take advantage of consumers."
The Department of Insurance is concerned there may be more victims in this case and is urging consumers who purchased insurance from Yanez to contact their insurer and verify their coverage.
In addition to the premium theft, Yanez also allegedly falsified documents to over report the number of policies he sold, which resulted in him collecting commissions he had not earned.
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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.