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Feb 14, 2024 by |

Santa Clara County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Financial Elder Abuse And Fraud By Insurance Agent

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Older Clients Targeted As Victims

Case Examples

Protecting Older Loved Ones From Financial Exploitation

Unscrupulous insurance agents sometimes abuse their profession for personal gain by committing fraud on customers, particularly targeting older consumers in some cases.  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.  Any wrongful taking of a senior’s money constitutes financial elder abuse by those doing the taking and anyone assisting them. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse). California broadly defines what constitutes financial elder or dependent adult abuse:

(a) “Financial abuse” of an elder or dependent adult occurs when a person or entity does any of the following:

(1) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.

(2) Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.

(3) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult by undue influence, as defined in Section 15610.70.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents injured seniors and their families in Santa Clara County or anywhere else in the San Francisco Bay Area against any insurance agents or brokers, financial advisors and others who prey upon seniors.  We can be reached at (415)441-8669.  Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Case Examples

Here are several examples of insurance fraud cases[1] that have occurred within the past few years:

  • A former insurance agent was sentenced after pleading guilty to submitting false applications for older customers for additional insurance coverages without their knowledge and pocketing commissions of $86,000 from premiums the customers believed were for their existing coverages.
  • An agent transferred $17,797 of paid premiums into his personal banking account and used the money to buy college sports tickets, pay bills and cover personal expenses.
  • An agent was sentenced for embezzlement of $59,113 from various clients, mostly elders.
  • After being stripped of insurance license for prior fraud, an individual was sentencing for subsequently stealing more than $38,000 in property insurance premium payments.
  • An agent allegedly added himself as beneficiary on 14 life insurance policies held by older customers.
  • An agent created false certificates of auto insurance and pocketed the $25,000 in paid premiums from unwitting consumers.
  • An agent altered customer premium payment schedules and used amounts for unauthorized business and personal expenses.

Preventing Financial Elder Abuse And Fraud

In some of these cases, the agent had a prior record of dishonesty or even had had their insurance license revoked. 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.  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. 

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans and Evans Law Firm, Inc. 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.  Ingrid represents seniors in Santa Clara County and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area who are victims of financial elder abuse or fraud, including by insurance agents.  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). 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in any of these reported cases.

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"Contacted Ingrid on an elder financial abuse case - she was responsive, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. You can tell she is passionate about this area of law and has the experience to back it up. She is an excellent choice if you are looking for a results driven attorney and highly effective advocate."
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