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Huntington Beach former adjuster gets 180-day jail sentence after stealing over $130,000 from clients

News: 2019 Press Release

For Release: September 20, 2019
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Huntington Beach former adjuster gets 180-day jail sentence after stealing over $130,000 from clients
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — Former licensed public adjuster John Schoon, 54, of Huntington Beach, was sentenced to 180 days in county jail and five years of felony probation after pleading guilty to three felony counts of embezzlement and one felony count of forgery. Schoon stole over $132,000 in claims proceeds for clients by forging signatures and guarantee stamps.
Schoon has already paid $12,000 in restitution and was ordered to pay an additional $52,311 as a condition of his probation. Additionally, Schoon is not to have any contact with his victims and is forbidden from engaging in insurance related activities.
“The Department’s investigation revealed this adjuster went to great lengths to defraud his clients,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “We are committed to making sure Californians are protected from those who rip off trusting consumers.”
An investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) revealed that Schoon, acting as World Wide Public Adjusters, negotiated checks by forging the signature of at least one of his clients and also forged endorsement guarantee stamps on behalf of that client’s mortgage company.
On January 17, 2015, CDI revoked Schoon's licensing rights and privileges; however, Schoon continued to act as a public adjuster under the license of his wife, Andrea Schoon, which she obtained one month later on February 20, 2015. Interviews with several insureds that were represented by World Wide Public Adjusters, Inc. revealed they entered into contracts with Mr. Schoon and not his wife, although the contracts listed her public adjuster license number. 
On September 12, 2016, his wife's public adjuster licensing rights were revoked. Mr. Schoon continued to act as a public adjuster and on at least one occasion, used the public adjuster license number that belonged to a former colleague. He failed to provide clients with the claim proceeds they were owed on multiple occasions. Mr. Schoon lied to clients about the status of their payments and wrote fraudulent checks with no intention of providing them with their funds, while using those claims proceeds for personal expenses or to pay other clients. In some cases, it appears that the clients were not even aware of some of the payments issued with regards to their insurance claims. Mr. Schoon did not provide clients with their claim proceeds and/or outstanding balances until they filed claims against his or his wife’s bonds or threatened legal action.
This case was prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
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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 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.

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