Former licensed insurance broker Robert Minero, 39, of Downey, California, has been charged with five counts, including insurance fraud and grand larceny.
The charges were filed after a California Department of Insurance investigation found that Minero allegedly sold auto insurance policies to customers but failed to send its customers’ premium to insurance companies, resulting in uncovered losses over $10,000 for at least two victims.
The Department began its investigation after a victim attempted to submit a claim to his insurance company and discovered that the auto insurance policy he had purchased from Minero had been canceled prematurely, resulting in an uncovered loss. of $5,000. The Department was later told by an insurance company that Minero’s personal information, including contact and banking information, was linked to more than a dozen other policies.
After Minero’s insurance license expired in September 2018, Minero continued to sell insurance to more than a dozen customers between 2018 and 2021. Minero collected premiums from victims and sometimes failed to pay some or all of the premiums to insurance companies, resulting in policies being canceled for non-payment.
At least one additional victim suffered an uncovered loss of more than $5,000 due to Minero’s actions. Other victims experienced long gaps in coverage, and some policies were canceled by insurance companies after they could not verify information about policies Minero purchased.
In total, the Department is aware of more than a dozen victims, mostly low-income and mostly Spanish-speaking people who paid in cash. Anyone who has a policy with Minero should check with their insurance company to make sure their policy is active and up-to-date, or contact the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357.
In April 2022, the Department issued Minero a cease and desist order from carrying unlicensed insurance. The criminal case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Auto Insurance Fraud Division.