Former licensed agent faces felony charges in insurance fraud scheme
News: 2022 Press Release
ORANGE, Calif. — Formerly licensed insurance agent Paul Kirton, 51, of Bozeman, Montana, has been charged with eleven felony counts including identity theft, grand theft and embezzlement after allegedly writing 162 fraudulent policies in an attempt to gain unearned commissions.
The Department began an investigation after an insurance company was notified by one of their insureds that they were not employed by the company listed on their policy.
The investigation revealed that Kirton wrote 162 policies for 38 policyholders under ‘company groups’ who were never employed with the companies, making the individuals ineligible to be placed on the company group accounts. This caused the insurance company to allegedly pay out more than $182,376 in unauthorized claim benefits on fraudulent policies.
Investigators also discovered Kirton submitted other policy applications for individuals who did not authorize the policy applications, and provided false personal information for individuals which resulted in Kirton being paid more than $35,000 in illegal advance commissions.
Kirton was arrested last week in Bozeman, Montana and is currently awaiting extradition. His lawyer appeared in court yesterday on his behalf. The case is being prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
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- The Department of Insurance revoked Kirton's license on April 6, 2017 for issues stemming from his failure to report a DUI arrest.
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.