Former California Insurance Broker Arraigned for Stealing Premium Payments

June 7, 2022

Formerly licensed insurance broker Robert Minero, 39, of Downey, California, was arraigned this week on five felony counts including insurance fraud and grand theft.

The charges were filed after an investigation by the California Department of Insurance revealed Minero allegedly sold auto insurance policies to customers but did. Not send the customers’ premium to the insurance companies, resulting in uncovered losses of more than $10,000 to at least two victims.

The CDI began its investigation after a victim reportedly attempted to submit a claim to his insurance company, and discovered the auto insurance policy he purchased from Minero was cancelled prematurely, resulting in an uncovered loss of $5,000.

The department was later notified by an insurer that Minero’s personal information, including contact and bank information, was connected to more than a dozen other policies.

After his insurance license expired in September 2018, Minero reportedly continued to sell insurance to more than a dozen customers between 2018 and 2021.

Minero reportedly collected premium payments from victims and at times failed to remit any or all of the premiums to insurers, resulting in policies being cancelled for nonpayment. At least one additional victim reportedly experienced an uncovered loss of more than $5,000 due to Minero’s actions. Other victims experienced lengthy gaps in coverages, and some policies were cancelled by insurance companies after they could not verify information on the policies Minero had purchased, according to the CDI.

Mostly of the reported victims are low income and primarily Spanish speaking who paid in cash, according to the CDI.

In April 2022, the department issued Minero a cease and desist order for transacting insurance without a license.

The criminal case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Auto Insurance Fraud Division.

Topics California Agencies Fraud

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