Former California Insurance Agent Who Scammed Church Members Sentenced

September 18, 2015

Constance Gail Fortune, 61, pleaded guilty this week to one felony count of grand theft by embezzlement and one felony count of theft from an elder or dependent adult in a case in which she was charged with scamming members of First AME Church in Los Angeles, Calif. out of more than $100,000.

California Department of Insurance investigators uncovered evidence that Fortune, a licensed agent at the time, sold homeowners, auto and life insurance policies to numerous consumers, but she never purchased policies and stole premiums.

Fortune conducted the illegal activities occurred over a two-year period and left consumers with no coverage.

Fraud“Fortune’s alleged criminal enterprise is reprehensible,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement. “Fortune violated her fiduciary responsibility when she used her position as a licensed agent and trusted member of the Los Angeles community to take advantage of seniors.”

Fortune was an employee and trustee for First AME Church. She fabricated bogus insurance documents on official insurance company letterhead, and used premiums to pay for her personal expenses, including lease payments for her insurance office and rent for her apartment.

Fortune was arrested on April 8 and was arraigned at the Superior Court of Los Angeles on Aril 10. She was sentenced to five years formal probation, one year in county jail, four years in state prison sentence (suspended) and ordered to pay $179,513.46 restitution to victims, including insurance companies.

Related:

Former California Agent Charged With Scamming Elderly Church Members

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