CASE UPDATE: Former Orange County insurance agent allegedly steals over $10,000 from victims
News: 2018 Press Release
Luan Quoc Nguyen, 42, of Irvine, California, pleaded guilty to one felony count of PC section 459-460(a) First Degree Residential Burglary with an enhancement under PC 667.5(c) (21) for Non-Accomplice Present. The enhancement makes the charge a violent felony and a "strike" meaning Nguyen will get six years in state prison if he commits another crime and/or violates his probation.
Nguyen was sentenced to three years formal probation, 90 days in Orange County Jail, and was ordered to pay full restitution to his victims in the amount of $5491.55. In addition, Nguyen was ordered to stay 100 yards away from all victims, their residences, work-places and vehicles.
Original news release below:
SANTA ANA, Calif. — Luan Quoc Nguyen, 42, of Irvine, was arrested on multiple felony counts of grand theft, burglary and identity theft after allegedly using his status as a licensed insurance agent to steal over $10,000 from six victims.
"This agent not only allegedly stole from his clients, he left them needlessly vulnerable by failing to cover their insurance policies," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "I have zero tolerance for agents who violate their fiduciary responsibility and take advantage of consumers."
Luan Nguyen, a licensed insurance agent at the time, was responsible for applying clients' premium checks to their annuities and life insurance policies. After Nguyen was terminated for improperly handling a customer check, the California Department of Insurance launched an investigation, which revealed Nguyen allegedly failed to remit client checks and altered voided checks from clients to deposit $5,481.55 in stolen funds into his own bank account for personal use.
The department also found evidence that he allegedly committed identity theft against a former roommate. Nguyen used the victim's personal identifying information to submit a bogus annuity application to the insurer, likely in an attempt to earn fraudulent commissions. He also stole a business check from this same victim and wrote a fraudulent check in the amount of $4,800 to cover up another premium theft.
Nguyen was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. He was booked into the San Diego Central Jail and then transferred to the Orange County Men's Jail in Santa Ana. Bail is set at $100,000.
This case is being prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney's office under CDI's Life and Annuity Consumer Protection program (LACPP) which provides grant funds for the prosecution of financial abuse in life insurance and annuity transactions. Nguyen's agent license expired in November 2016.
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.