North Hills unlicensed broker convicted again for insurance fraud
News: 2020 Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Unlicensed insurance broker Rosie Villegas, 51, of North Hills, pleaded no contest yesterday to one misdemeanor count of insurance fraud after failing to place auto insurance coverage for clients and misappropriating premium funds for her own personal use. Villegas was sentenced to three years of probation, 20 days of community service, and paid $1,169 in restitution. Villegas has a prior conviction from a similar crime in April 2017.
In her current case, the California Department of Insurance received a complaint in July 2017 from an alleged victim of Villegas and launched an investigation. The investigation revealed Villegas had sold an automobile insurance policy to the victim, but failed to place the coverage. Villegas' actions left the victim uninsured and as a result they suffered an uninsured loss.
Further investigation found that Villegas sold another automobile insurance policy to another victim, in which she misrepresented their information on an insurance application and misappropriated $1,169 in premium funds for her own personal use. The victim was unaware that the misrepresentation took place.
In her prior conviction in April 2017, Villegas pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of providing false or misleading statements and was sentenced to two years of probation and 10 days of community labor. The 2017 conviction was the result of a previous Department of Insurance investigation, which discovered Villegas was transacting insurance without a license and misrepresented client information on insurance applications for a decade.
"Through the efforts of our investigators this repeat offender has been stopped, yet again," said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. "This case should serve as a reminder to always check the status of your insurance agent’s or broker's license before transacting business."
Consumers can check the license status of their agent or broker or contact the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357 if they suspect they are victims of insurance fraud.
Both of Villegas' cases were prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 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 www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.