Southland agents arrested for fraud and ID theft in commissions scam
News: 2018 Press Release
"I have zero tolerance for agents and brokers who scam insurers and victimize consumers," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "We aggressively investigate allegations of wrongdoing and work with our district attorney partners to prosecute scam artists and dishonest insurance producers."
An investigation by California Department of Insurance Investigation Division revealed the agents issued life and supplemental insurance policies for Accident, Accident Care, Critical Illness, Disability, Medical Bridge, and Group Medical Bridge, using fraudulent applications as part of a scheme to earn commission advances from insurers.
The suspects altered and falsified applications by making changes to essential information, including addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and social security numbers and submitting new application through the insurer's electronic database. Not only were the agents collecting unearned commissions, they were allegedly trying to take advantage of bonuses, including a Hawaiian trip incentive offered to qualifying insurance agents.
When the victim insurer discovered inconsistencies in the applications, they terminated the sales agents' contracts, removed them from the incentive promotion and reported the alleged illegal activity to the department.
During the investigation, the department found evidence that the agents allegedly victimized another insurer, as a result the investigation is ongoing. The department has taken administrative action to suspend the agents' licenses and will take further action, if convicted. This case is being prosecuted by the Riverside County District Attorney's office.
- Link to criminal complaint
- Link to arrest photos
- Daniel Herrarte and Jorge Lopez Jr. were booked into Los Angeles County jail.
- Samuel Tadlock III was booked into Riverside County jail. Tadlock is due in court May 29, 2018.
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.