January 16, 2021 - LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Formerly licensed insurance agent LaPreia Williams, 36, of Atlanta, Georgia, was arraigned Friday at the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach on multiple felony counts of identity theft, insurance fraud, and grand theft after allegedly submitting more than 20 fraudulent funeral insurance policies in order to collect more than $15,000 in undeserved commissions.
In December 2016, the California Department of Insurance received a complaint from an insurance company alleging that Williams submitted multiple fraudulent funeral insurance policy applications. Department investigators determined that Williams used the names and personal identifying information of relatives and friends without their permission and also constructed fake personas on the applications to receive undeserved commission payments on the fraudulent policies.
The individuals named on the insurance applications were unaware an insurance policy was purchased on their behalf. Multiple victims discovered the fraud when they received copies of funeral polices they did not purchase and bills for future premium payments. Several of the policies contained names of additionally covered persons that the victims did not know.
The case against Williams was filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in March 2018 and an arrest warrant was issued in the amount of $270,000. Efforts to locate and arrest Williams after the criminal filing determined that she fled to the State of Georgia. Investigators worked with Williams to return to California and face the charges against her.
Williams’ insurance license expired November 30, 2016. She is scheduled to return to court on February 22, 2021. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $340 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.
Source: California Department of Insurance