California Agent Collected Bogus Premiums While on Bail

November 17, 2009

California’s Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has announced that Louise May Batchelor, 55, of San Diego was sentenced Nov. 6 to 365 days of work furlough, five years probation and ordered to pay restitution totaling $24,375 to four victims after pleading guilty to two felony counts of grand theft.

It was alleged that Batchelor pocketed premiums and issued bogus insurance certificates.

“Taking people’s premiums and then not applying them to purchase a policy is stealing plain and simple,” Commissioner Poizner said. “This type of crime exposed the victims to extreme financial risks and those who commit these crimes will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Batchelor owned and operated Sunny SoCal Insurance Service and Louise Batchelor Insurance Service in San Diego. Batchelor sold various types of insurance including automobile, property, general liability and workers’ compensation to individuals and businesses.

Prior to these new additional charges, Batchelor had pled guilty to separate charges in Oct. 2008 to one felony count of grand theft for allegedly stealing insurance premiums from four business owners and issued bogus insurance certificates. Batchelor was arrested in Aug. 2008 and was released on bail.

While out on bail on the first set of charges, Batchelor continued to collect premiums from additional victims and failed to place insurance coverage. The investigation revealed that Batchelor had collected premiums from at least three additional business owners and failed to place coverage for these victims.

In Oct. 2008, after the initial criminal case was filed and Batchelor pled guilty, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) revoked her insurance license, which prohibited her from working in any manner in the insurance industry. She will report for the work furlough program on Nov. 19.

The case was prosecuted by the San Diego County’s District Attorney’s Office.

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