A former Brea insurance representative who embezzled almost $600,000 from his clients’ retirement funds pleaded guilty Monday, Dec. 9, to multiple felony charges of theft, fraud and elder abuse.
Joseph Ramiro Garcia, 37, previously of Brea, admitted to stealing from 18 victims, including a 91-year-old woman, according court records. He was sentenced to a six-year jail term and ordered to pay $459,721 in restitution, California Department of Insurance authorities stated in a press release
From February 2014 through February 2018, he acted served as a monetary consultant and took about $586,900 from his clients, the firm stated. Most of that money originated from their Individual Retirement Account or 401(k) retirement accounts, according to court records.
The stolen funds were put into a savings account managed by Garcia, who assured his victims that their retirement funds would be rolled over into better-paying plans. Many of them considered Garcia a pal, according to detectives.
CDI authorities discovered the embezzlement after agents for Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Business reported fraud in policies Garcia had tried to open with them, the state firm stated in its release. In between December 2014 and January 2015, Garcia submitted 7 life insurance applications to the business, causing it to provide over $50,000 ahead of time commissions, CDI authorities stated. Garcia stole about $20,000 from those payments.
The total loss was estimated by prosecutors at the end of last year at $649,253. Garcia used a few of that money to pay for designer clothing, Disneyland season passes, dining establishment costs and travel expenses, according to court records.
Garcia, who was detained in September and lost his insurance representative license, was offered credit for serving 166 days behind bars.
Personnel author Eric Licas contributed to this story.Source: ocregister.com