Former Lake Forest agent arrested on 90 counts of felony insurance fraud after stealing nearly $200,000 in premium payments
News: 2021 Press Release
ORANGE, Calif. — Former insurance broker Karen Marie Dondanville, 53, of Mission Viejo, was arrested on 90 felony counts including grand theft, insurance fraud, financial elder abuse, and forgery for allegedly collecting premiums and failing to place insurance coverage for her customers resulting in $183,047 in stolen premium payments from 32 victims over the span of eight years.
The Department of Insurance received multiple consumer complaints against Dondanville while she was doing business as Streamline Insurance Services and Broadstreet Insurance Services. Dondanville allegedly attempted to cover up the theft by providing her clients with fraudulent insurance documents as proof of insurance when no such coverage existed. She also allegedly transacted insurance without a license.
Dondanville’s alleged fraudulent actions of overbilling, receiving excessive premium payments, and failing to remit the premiums to the insurance companies, resulted in many policies cancelling for nonpayment. Dondanville also submitted fraudulent documents to insurers to divert premium refunds to herself. This left her 32 victims with more than 10,000 collective days without insurance coverage, exposing them to the danger of substantial uninsured losses.
An investigation by the Department revealed in one instance, Dondanville created fraudulent insurance documents for her client indicating that a homeowner’s policy cost $2,800, when the true cost was less than $900. Dondanville collected the $2,800 premium payment, but remitted less than $400 to the insurance company, causing the consumer’s policy to be canceled for nonpayment, leaving them unknowingly uninsured.
The investigation further revealed one consumer filed a claim and discovered Dondanville gave them a fake insurance document and their property was not insured. The consumer experienced approximately $100,000 in uncovered losses as a result of Dondanville’s actions.
The Department issued two Cease and Desist orders against Dondanville after receiving complaints from consumers who purchased insurance from Dondanville through their mortgage company, even after the Department of Insurance revoked her license on November 6, 2019.
On January 11, 2021, the Department adopted an Administrative Law Judge’s proposed decision which affirmed the Department’s Cease and Desist Orders and ordered Dondanville to pay a penalty of $20,000 within 90 days for her unlawful insurance transactions and fraud. The Orange County District Attorney is seeking restitution for the victims.
Dondanville was arrested on April 23 , 2021. This case is being prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The Department reminds consumers to verify they are working with a licensed agent at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0200-industry/0008-check-license-status/. If a consumer suspects they have been a victim of Dondanville or another agent, they are encouraged to file a complaint with the Department.
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- Press Release: Department of Insurance issues Cease and Desist order against Lake Forest unlicensed agent (October 16, 2020)
- Press Release: Unlicensed Lake Forest agent ordered to pay $20,000 after judge affirms Cease and Desist Order (January 28, 2021)
- Decision and Order Adopting Proposed Decision
- Cease and Desist Order
- Consumers can check the license status of their agent or contact the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357 if they suspect they are victims of insurance fraud.
- On March 25, 2020, the Department issued the first Cease and Desist order, requiring Dondanville to stop selling insurance in the state of California.
- The Department issued an Amended Cease and Desist order against Dondanville on September 28, 2020 ordering her to immediately stop selling insurance and representing herself as a licensed insurance agent.
- Booking photo available upon request
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $340 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.