Multimedia Storyteller
Apr 16

Collecting Illegal Commissions

Former Agent Charged in Policy Commission Scam

Collecting Illegal Commissions

There was a time when 52-year-old Teresa Marie Davis looked forward to collecting bogus insurance policy commissions. But that time has passed.

Today, she looks back on those days while sitting in a jail cell at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California.

Davis used to be a licensed agent. She used her knowledge of how to establish employee payroll acknowledgments to access more than $67,000 in unearned commissions, basically running a commission scam.

Employee payroll acknowledgments tell insurers that a company’s workers are eligible to apply for insurance policies.

Using the names of several businesses, Davis established those acknowledgements for hundreds of fictitious employees. She also made up a few business names and corresponding addresses in her elaborate scheme.

Serious junk mail

With the fictitious information, Davis allegedly submitted 393 insurance applications between March 2011 and October 2011. She also used the identities of four innocent people to apply for insurance policies. And then she invented fake addresses for those people to cover her tracks.

But some of those innocent people received letters in the mail from insurers.

One of the most troubling discoveries in this case was the

fact that those people treated the letters like harmless pieces of junk mail.

“This case is a warning to businesses and individuals on spotting potential identity theft,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Don’t disregard mail you receive because you believe it’s an error; it could be the warning that something more serious is going on.”

In fact, it was serious enough for investigators from the Department of Insurance to arrest Davis at her home in Pomona, California. She was then booked on multiple counts of identity theft and grand theft in an alleged bogus life insurance scam.

Useless stolen money

Davis siphoned $67,534 in illegal commissions. But that stolen money was useless; she couldn’t even apply it towards making her bail of $245,000.

About the Author:
Angela J. Bass is a multimedia journalist from Oakland, California.

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