Investigators with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Criminal Investigations Branch, served a search warrant Sept. 18 at Murphy’s Insurance Agency in Gardena. Two licensed insurance agents, Dana and Patrick Murphy, father and son respectively, operate the agency.
The investigation suspects the agents of submitting fraudulent insurance documents to the State of California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), issuing phony insurance certificates and proof of insurance cards, as well as collecting insurance premiums and failing to place coverage with insurance carriers. Consumer losses currently exceed $80,000. The insurance carriers listed on the phony insurance certificates discovered thus far include Farmers Insurance Exchange, Truck Insurance Exchange, National Casualty, American Protection Insurance and Western United Insurance.
Investigators allege bogus documents were provided to consumers and sometimes submitted to state agencies such as the PUC, the Department of Motor Vehicles and other private agencies to conceal the fact that monies meant for insurance coverage were never forwarded to insurance companies.
The insurance agency would also allegedly forward a small portion of the monies to purchase short-term insurance coverage and then the policies were allowed to cancel prematurely.
Many victims were left without insurance coverage after becoming involved in losses.
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