Insurance agent Michael Wolf ̶ in sheep’s clothing as he victimizes dependent adult
News: 2018 Press Release
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Licensed insurance agent Michael David Wolf, 59, of Moorpark and Randall Keith Smith, 60, of Oceanside were arrested by Department of Insurance detectives on 16 felony counts including grand theft, forgery, and caretaker theft, for allegedly stealing more than $700,000 from an annuity policy that Wolf sold to a dependent adult victim.
"It is simply reprehensible to know a small number of agents use their position of trust to prey upon trusting and vulnerable populations such as dependent adults," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "I remain committed to making sure Californians are protected from agents and others who take advantage of trusting consumers to earn a quick buck. We will continue to investigate insurance fraud and enforce a zero tolerance policy for anyone committing fraud."
According to department investigators, Wolf sold a $1.2 million annuity policy to a dependent adult who had been diagnosed with early onset dementia six months prior. Randall Smith was related to, and responsible for the care of the victim, when he and Wolf conspired to defraud the victim to the tune of$700,000 by making six withdrawals from the annuity.
Smith impersonated the victim during telephone calls with insurance company representatives and forged the beneficiary's signature on policy documents. Wolf called the insurance company over 14 times to assist Smith in illegally obtaining the withdrawals. As a result of Wolf and Smith's actions, the victim lost an additional $92,000 for penalties and early withdrawal fees.
The department suspended Wolf's insurance license. This case is being prosecuted by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. Wolf's arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today in Department 101 of the downtown San Diego Superior Court.
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- This case is being prosecuted under the Life and Annuity Consumer Protection Program, (LACCP) grant by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. LACCP provides grant funds to counties for the prosecution of financial abuse in life insurance and annuity product transactions.
Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.