Former Orange County insurance agent arraigned on 40 felony counts of grand theft
News: 2018 Press Release
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — Anna Gabriela Garcia, also known as Anna Nuno-Garcia, 46, of Capistrano Beach, was arraigned yesterday and charged with 40 felony counts of grand theft after allegedly collecting premium payments from customers and diverting the funds of over $195,000 for personal use.
Garcia, a former licensed insurance agent, while working for an independently owned State Farm agency from September 2011 to November 2014 embezzled more than 300 checks totaling $195,626 by altering, endorsing or depositing them into her personal bank accounts. These checks were for payment of the insureds’ insurance premiums or were premium refunds for the policyholder.
“Garcia’s alleged crimes are an example of why insurance fraud is not a victimless crime,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “In order to line her own pockets, Garcia allegedly took advantage of people who trusted her and put those people at risk of economic loss by failing to place insurance coverage intended to protect them.”
Garcia allegedly failed to place coverage for personal and commercial automobile insurance causing cancellation of DMV registrations and exposing customers and others on the road to the risk of economic loss. Garcia also allegedly failed to place a life insurance policy and at least 17 homeowner and renter’s policies.
To conceal the embezzlement of diverted premium checks into her personal bank account, Garcia allegedly made 57 unauthorized ACH debits from one State Farm insured's bank account to pay the premiums of others unknown to that insured. She also allegedly made unauthorized charges to multiple customers' credit cards to pay the premiums of unrelated others' State Farm policies.
Garcia allegedly used cash payments from some clients to purchase money orders to pay premiums for other clients and set up policyholders on unauthorized State Farm installment payment plans. Garcia also misdirected customer billings, statements, and refunds to incorrect addresses, some of which were her own or Post Office boxes she had access to. Victims included extended family members and elderly State Farm customers.
Garcia was arraigned on November 5, 2018 at the Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana. Bail was set at $20,000.00. This case was handled by CDI's Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Garcia's license expired in April 2018 for failure to renew.
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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.