Insurance agent Stephen Mark Gomez, 64, of Lake View Terrace, Calif., was arraigned last month on eight felony counts of grand theft and embezzlement after allegedly collecting over $148,000 in insurance premium payments from a client but failing to place insurance coverage on the client’s properties.
The alleged crime was discovered after the victim’s property suffered a fire and he discovered it was uninsured.
The California Department of Insurance found that Gomez, acting as the victim’s insurance agent, collected $148,749 in premium for fire and general liability isurance for the victim’s properties between 2012 and 2018. Gomez collected the premium payments, issued invoices for fraudulent insurance policies, and issued bogus declaration pages as proof of insurance. The victim became aware of the fraud when one of his properties suffered a structure fire in 2018.
The victim filed a claim with the insurance company only to find the policy did not exist. An investigation revealed the insurer never issued any policies for the victim nor was Gomez an appointed agent.
The CDI has initiated action against Gomez’s insurance license. An early disposition hearing is set for Nov. 25.
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