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Oct 23, 2021 by |

Marin County and California Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Insurance Agent Arrested For Stealing From Elderly Clients

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Agent Accused Of Stealing $1.2 Million

14 Elderly Clients Were Victims

Accusations Of Stolen Premiums, Lies, And Falsified Documents

Seniors are all potential victims of financial elder abuse and predators include in-home caregivers, insurance agents and other salespeople, bankers, trustees, conservators, financial advisors, brokers, contractors, second spouses, and girlfriends or boyfriends.  Financial elder abuse is a crime and a basis for civil lawsuits to recover from the abuser.  See Cal. Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse for civil liability).  Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents seniors here in Marin and throughout California who suffer financial elder abuse at the hands of insurance agents, caregivers or others who have defrauded a senior or have misused their access to a senior’s money and taken money for themselves.  If you or an older loved one have been the victim of financial elder abuse call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Insurance Agent Charged With Exploiting Elderly Clients

In one recently reported case,[1] a former licensed insurance agent was arrested for his alleged role in stealing over $1.2 million from more than 20 victims – 14 of which were senior clients of his.  He is being charged with 51 felony counts of grand theft, elder abuse, money laundering, securities violations and aggravated white-collar crime enhancements.  According to the charges, defendant’s insurance agency offered living trusts and investment advice on top of insurance. An investigation by the California Department of Insurance (DOI) found that between August 2012 and June 2018, the agent held investment and retirement-related seminars for senior citizens, and utilized “various schemes” to gain his victims’ trust.  The former agent allegedly tricked his victims into thinking he had obtained bonuses from insurance companies that he could apply to their existing life policies and/or annuity contracts – as long as his victims paid their premiums directly to him instead of their insurer. But, according to the DOI, he failed to place the annuity and life insurance policies, and roped his clients into a fraudulent real estate investment scheme.

To keep the ruse going and to continue to dupe his clients, the former agent allegedly forged insurance statements, emails, and even letters to show as proof. He would also occasionally pay several of his clients’ investment returns, but he later stopped paying them according to the government. When victims later questioned him about the lack of the funds he had promised, he allegedly claimed there were problems with the tenants which were delaying payments.  According to the government, he also signed promissory notes to lull victims into thinking their investments were safe. To delay payment of their investments, he also falsely claimed that his funds were levied by different government agencies according to details in the complaint.

Protecting Yourself And Older Loved Ones

The insurance agent in the reported case perpetrated his fraudulent schemes for years.  Many of his senior victims had no one else to review what the agent was providing, investigate the investments he offered, or question his excuses for delaying payments on the notes he sold his clients.  Don’t let your older loved ones be injured by this kind of sustained abuse.  Accompany them to any meetings they have with insurance agents, financial advisors, or planners.  Discourage them from attending free lunch seminars and other high-pressure sales gatherings.  Review all financial records and bills continually.  Do a background check on any new advisors or any caregiver you allow in their home to help them.  Keep all important financial papers, Social Security numbers, ATM cards and credit cards safely stowed away.  Make sure there’s not a lot of cash or jewelry around that can disappear.  Most importantly – never ever allow the senior to give a caregiver, insurance agent or advisor a Power of Attorney.  If you suspect abuse, call elder law counsel to help you pursue all available remedies against anyone responsible for abuse, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing your suit.

Contact Us

If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of financial elder abuse in Marin, San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the reported case in any way.

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