Calif. Attorney Surrenders on Grand Theft Charge

February 23, 2006

California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has announced that on Feb. 9, 2006, attorney Marilyn P. McCumber, 68, self-surrendered to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. She pled guilty to felony grand theft for insurance fraud and was sentenced to five years probation and a $10,000.00 fine.

On March 29, 2005, the California Department of Insurance’s (CDI) Fraud Division received a suspected fraudulent claim referral from Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Co. alleging that McCumber had submitted fraudulent billing in connection with her 89 year-old mother’s long term care insurance policy.

The case was assigned to the Fraud Division’s newly-formed Health Care Disability Team in Valencia, Calif. The investigation determined that McCumber, who practiced law in Glendale, defrauded the company by falsely billing for nursing home care benefits for her mother when in fact the nursing home (Magnolia Retirement Villa) had been closed since October 2001, according to the commissioner’s office. When the company tried to locate McCumber’s mother in January 2005, it discovered the facility was no longer in business.

The investigation concluded that McCumber altered stationery from Magnolia Retirement Villa to create illegitimate invoices she submitted to Transamerica Occidental. This fraudulent activity continued for approximately 12 years as McCumber’s mother was initially confined to the nursing home in late 1992. According to witness statements, McCumber relocated her mother from Magnolia Retirement Villa to live with McCumber at her home in Glendale in 1998. Nevertheless, she continued to bill the company under the pretense that her mother was still residing in the nursing home.

According to the investigation, McCumber defrauded the company of over $380,000 as part of the scheme involving her mother’s long term care insurance policy. The CDI’s Fraud Division performed the investigation, and the case was prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to five years probation and a $10,000 bail, McCumber was ordered to pay back the company over $79,000 in restitution. This was in addition to $100,000 that she had already paid to the company as part of a civil settlement negotiated prior to criminal charges being filed. McCumber surrendered herself to the Los Angeles County Superior Court pursuant to a felony charge of Grand Theft, Penal Code section 487. As part of her plea agreement, she agreed to dismissal from the California State Bar.

An in-home physical assessment conducted in April 2005 indicated that Ida McCumber (mother) appeared to be well-taken care of.

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