Calipatria insurance agent sentenced in burial policy and life insurance scheme
News: 2022 Press Release
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Saul Hinojosa, 48, of Calipatria, was sentenced to one felony count of identity theft and one felony count of grand theft after stealing his clients’ identities to write fraudulent insurance policies to collect unearned commissions.
Hinojosa was sentenced to 150 days in jail through work release and to pay $18,252 in restitution.
In February 2017, Hinojosa’s employer reported an internal investigation in which they suspected Hinojosa had written fraudulent preneed burial policies and collected unearned commissions. In July 2017, a consumer reported to the California Department of Insurance that they had received a new, unrequested, life insurance policy produced by Hinojosa — whom the consumer had previously dealt with when Hinojosa was as an agent at another insurance company.
A joint investigation by the Department and the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office found that between May 2016 and February 2017 Hinojosa wrote 15 fraudulent preneed burial policies and 13 fraudulent life insurance policies. To write the policies, Hinojosa used his former insurance clients’ identities without their knowledge. Hinojosa received approximately $18,000 in commissions from the fraudulent policies.
The Department of Insurance will be taking appropriate action against Hinojosa’s license. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted 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 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.