S. California Agent In Jail for Pocketing Premium

December 24, 2009

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced that Rosa De Romero De Rosa (AKA Rosa D. Rosa), 53, of Huntington Park, was arrested Dec. 22 and faces one felony count of grand theft after allegedly taking a premium payment and failing to purchase a policy for the victim. She is being held at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood and bail has been set at $20,000. She will be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 24 at the Los Angeles Superior Court in Downey.

“Any agent or broker who attempts to cheat customers by pocketing their premiums and leaving them exposed to losses will face serious consequences,” said Commissioner Poizner. “Jail time, fines and restitution are only the beginning for these unscrupulous criminals.”

A California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation alleges that De Rosa provided the victim with a quote for homeowners insurance and issued him a fraudulent insurance certificate. For two years, De Rosa received checks for annual premium payments of $823.00 via automatic payment from the victim’s bank account. She cashed these checks at a check cashing business and kept the money for personal use. De Rosa’s failure to provide insurance coverage exposed the victim to possible loss. The alleged scheme was discovered when the victim contacted the insurance company listed on his prior insurance certificate to see why he hadn’t received his 2009 policy. The insurance company advised him that they had not issued coverage. He then filed a complaint with CDI.

This new charge follows a prior conviction against Rosa for similar insurance fraud activities. De Rosa was convicted in July 2008 of two counts of grand theft. She was sentenced to one year in Los Angeles County jail, three years of probation and to pay restitution.

The earlier case stemmed from a CDI investigation that revealed De Rosa accepted $5,984 from five victims between Nov. 2005 and Nov. 2007 as the owner of R&R Insurance Services in Huntington Park to purchase homeowner insurance policies.

De Rosa submitted insurance applications and partial payments to the California Fair Plan (Fair Plan) for four of the victims. The policies that were issued by the Fair Plan reflected a premium amount less than what Rosa had charged the victims. Rosa issued a bogus certificate of insurance to the fifth victim and retained the victim’s premium for her personal use.

This fraud was discovered after a consumer complained that she noticed the reverse side of her premium check, payable to the Fair Plan, was endorsed by Romero De Rosa. CDI investigators discovered the other victims while reviewing De Rosa’s client files.

De Rosa’s did not have a valid license to sell insurance in the time spanning the two convictions.

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