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CA Department of Insurance
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CA Department of Insurance

Southland agents arrested for fraud and ID theft in commissions scam

News: 2018 Press Release

For Release: May 24, 2018
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Southland agents arrested for fraud and ID theft in commissions scam
Fraudulent insurance applications used to scam $124k from life insurance companies
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Life insurance agents, Samuel Tadlock III, 32, of Eastvale, Marlene Ramirez, 42, of Murrieta, Daniel Herrarte, 34, of Sylmar, and Jorge Lopez Jr., 38, of San Fernando, were arrested on multiple felony counts of identity theft and grand theft after allegedly submitting fraudulent insurance applications with information from stolen identities to collect approximately $124,000 in unearned commissions from insurance companies. Scotty Carlisle, 42, of Corona, is making arrangements to surrender himself.

"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.

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Media Notes:
  • 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.   

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $340 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. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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