Officials: Fake Insurance Policies Sold in Orange County, California

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A former Southern California insurance broker is facing charges of selling fake policies and pocketing $27,000 in premiums, state officials said.

Juan Carlos Martinez, 56, of Yorba Linda, continued to sell fonts after his insurance broker’s license expired in 2016, the Department of Insurance said in a news release.

But the policies were tampered with and the premiums went into his own personal investment accounts, which he then withdrew in cash, officials said.

“Fraud ends up hurting consumers and our recovering economy,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in the statement.

In addition to stealing their money, Martinez let potential customers think they were insured when they weren’t, exposing them to potential financial loss and liability, the statement said.

He faces more than 80 felony counts, including 12 counts of grand theft, 34 felony counts of forgery, 34 counts of insurance fraud and one count of money laundering.

Officers from the Buena Park Police Department arrested Martinez at a booth in Knott’s Christmas Craft Village, the statement said. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will pursue the case.

You can check if an insurance broker is licensed with www.assurance.ca.gov. If you think you have been the victim of fraud, call the service at 800-927-4357.

Don Sweeney has been a journalist and editor in California for over 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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