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Jun 24, 2021 by |

San Francisco and California Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Financial Elder Abuse By Insurance Agents

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Insurance Agent Charged With Insurance Fraud And Financial Elder Abuse

Thirty-Two Victims Including Many Seniors

Fraudulent Documents Allegedly Covered Up Fraud

Financial elder abuse strikes seniors from many quarters, and insurance agents are among those who can swindle seniors out of money.  Agents may exploit older consumers by selling them expensive and unsuitable insurance products, making unauthorized exchanges of policies, falsifying applications to qualify seniors for policies for which they are ineligible, or simply pocket a senior’s premiums and never issue any policy.  This kind of financial exploitation can be devastating whatever form it takes. Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents injured seniors and their families here in San Francisco, throughout the Bay Area or anywhere else in California against any insurance agents or brokers, financial advisors and others who prey upon seniors.  We pursue all available remedies for the elderly victim against those persons or businesses responsible for their abuse, including getting their money back, undoing illegal contracts and getting awards of attorneys’ fees and expenses for the costs of bringing suit.  We can be reach at (415)441-8669.  Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Agent Accused of Defrauding Seniors

In one recently reported case,[1] a former insurance broker 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.  Prior to the arrest, the California Department of Insurance (DOI) received multiple consumer complaints against the agent. According to authorities, the agent allegedly attempted to cover up the theft by providing clients with fraudulent proof of insurance documents. She also allegedly transacted insurance without a license.  According to the police, the alleged fraudulent actions of the agent resulted in numerous policies cancelling for nonpayment.  The agent had also reportedly submitted fraudulent documents to insurers to divert premium refunds to herself.  An DOI investigation reportedly revealed that in one instance, the agent created fraudulent insurance documents for a senior client indicating that a homeowners policy cost $2,800, when the true cost was less than $900. The agent allegedly 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.  Another senior consumer reportedly filed a claim and discovered that the agent allegedly issued a fake insurance document, leaving a property uninsured and resulting in $100,000 in uncovered losses. The Orange County District Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, is seeking restitution for the victims.

Steps To Prevent Financial Elder Abuse

Before you transact any business with an insurance agent, check out the status of their insurance license on the California Department of Insurances license search tab.  If the Department has issued any citations or taken any disciplinary actions against the agent you will see them there.  You can also see what types of insurance the agent is licensed to sell; he or she may not be licensed to sell you the product they are promoting.  If you are family members of a senior, stay involved in their business and financial affairs so you can help them avoid exploitation and fraud. A family may be able to catch financial elder abuse before it occurs by accompanying the senior at any business meetings and reviewing any paperwork before a senior is sold something worthless.  Review a senior’s bank records routinely.  This includes all records for all accounts including for savings and checking accounts, credit cards, investments accounts, loans and the like. 

If your older loved one has in-home assistance, always vet the individual (and their agency) before they ever come inside. If the caregiver is coming to you through an agency, check out the agency’s track record too. Once a caregiver is in the home, keep valuables locked up and do not have cash, credit cards or confidential information near at hand.  Do not let the caregiver see any Social Security numbers; we have also seen cases where a senior’s benefits are diverted to another account.  Call your loved on frequently and speak to them alone; tell them to take your call privately and out of earshot of the caregiver.  The senior may be intimidated to speak candidly in front of someone they fear. Never ever let a senior give a caregiver a Power of Attorney. 

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans represents seniors in San Francisco and throughout California who are victims of financial elder abuse or fraud.  Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at info@evanslaw.com. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).  Ingrid pursues all remedies available to you or your injured senior loved one including getting your money back (restitution), undoing any trusts or contracts the abuser may have fraudulently created (rescissions), damages for pain and suffering, and an award of the attorneys’ fees and expenses you’ve incurred in bringing your case.

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

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