Fraud investigation leads to arrest of Palm Springs insurance agent who allegedly stole from late art dealer
News: 2022 Press Release
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — An insurance fraud investigation by the California Department of Insurance led to the arrest yesterday of agent John Ryan, 64, of Palm Springs on multiple charges of elder abuse, grand theft, and identify theft. Ryan’s alleged victims included Gregg Juarez, a prominent art dealer and philanthropist who passed away in 2018 at age 93. The Department of Insurance investigation found that Ryan diverted over $75,000 from Juarez’s accounts while acting as his insurance agent.
The arrest comes after Ryan failed to appear for arraignment in felony charges filed on April 12 by the San Diego County District Attorney. Ryan faces 45 counts involving financial elder Abuse, grand theft and identity theft.
The Department of Insurance began the investigation after learning from former employees of Ryan’s that he allegedly kept premiums that should have been sent to the insurance company. Ryan operated his former offices under the names of Calinsured, Greater Palm Springs Insurance, and PS Independent Insurance. The Department is pursuing its investigation and encourages current and former clients of Ryan’s to review their policies with their insurance company to verify the validity of their policy and ensure any funds entrusted to Ryan were sent to the insurance company as required under law.
The Department barred Ryan’s insurance license on May 12 under California law allowing for immediate suspension involving alleged fraudulent acts or acts of dishonesty.
Ryan was arrested by investigators from the California Department of Insurance Inland Empire Fraud Division in Palm Springs, California, on a $300,000 arrest warrant. Anyone with information or who believes they are a victim of Ryan’s should contact the Department at (909) 919-2200.
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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.