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Former LA agent arraigned for theft and fraud in funeral insurance scam

News: 2021 Press Release

For Release: January 15, 2021
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Former LA agent arraigned for theft and fraud in funeral insurance scam

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Formerly licensed insurance agent LaPreia Williams, 36, of Atlanta, Georgia, was arraigned today at the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach on multiple felony counts of identity theft, insurance fraud, and grand theft after allegedly submitting more than 20 fraudulent funeral insurance policies in order to collect more than $15,000 in undeserved commissions.

In December 2016, the California Department of Insurance received a complaint from an insurance company alleging that Williams submitted multiple fraudulent funeral insurance policy applications. Department investigators determined that Williams used the names and personal identifying information of relatives and friends without their permission and also constructed fake personas on the applications to receive undeserved commission payments on the fraudulent policies.

The individuals named on the insurance applications were unaware an insurance policy was purchased on their behalf. Multiple victims discovered the fraud when they received copies of funeral polices they did not purchase and bills for future premium payments. Several of the policies contained names of additionally covered persons that the victims did not know.

The case against Williams was filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in March 2018 and an arrest warrant was issued in the amount of $270,000. Efforts to locate and arrest Williams after the criminal filing determined that she fled to the State of Georgia. Investigators worked with Williams to return to California and face the charges against her.

Williams’ insurance license expired November 30, 2016. She is scheduled to return to court on February 22, 2021. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.

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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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