Articles Tagged with insurance

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A federal investigation of a company in Irvine that offers financial and insurance services has led to charges for three executives of the firm who have allegedly been found to have stolen investments totaling over $4 million from several elderly clients.

50-year-old Mehmet Fatih Biyikoglu is the CEO and founder of Five Star Financial Services, LLC, a financial management and insurance firm in Orange County. 58-year-old Anna Marie Holt serves as the company’s president and chief operating officer, and Ida Shaghoian, 38, was a sales agent who was also once married to Biyikoglu.

The company practices have been under investigation that has led to accusations against Biyikoglu, Holt, and Shaghoian purporting that between 2014 and 2015 they recruited clients, typically elderly people, and assured them that if they invested into certificates of deposit they would earn significant returns. Instead of taking the clients’ money and putting it into a JP Morgan Chase Bank CD account as promised, the suspects have been accused of taking over $4 million in investments and using the cash for personal items such as real estate, jewelry, and expensive automobiles.

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An ex-insurance agent from San Clemente has been accused of using fraudulent practices to profit off of investments he made for at least six elderly clients in Southern California.

55-year-old Mark Malatesta, a man employed as a licensed insurance agent, was taken into custody on Monday after the California Department of Insurance detectives found what they believe is supporting evidence that he was taking part in a monetary ruse which cost his former clients over $1.6 million. The alleged victims were reported as senior citizens, who are said to be a target demographic of an increasing number of deceptions designed to cheat them out of their money, as reported by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Malatesta has been accused of a procedure called “churning,” wherein a broker who typically has permission to make independent determinations on how to invest money from the client’s account performs transactions “chiefly to generate commissions that benefit the broker,” as described by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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A married couple who own a travel business were charged with embezzlement after they allegedly accepted payment for booking international trips to Japan for San Diego high school band members and their parents, and then cancelled the trips. The company then filed for bankruptcy and the people were not offered refunds for the thousands of dollars they had spent.

Brad and Margie Matheson are the proprietors of a Georgia based travel service called Harmony International. In January 2016, they extended a package to four San Diego area high school’s band departments. The offer was for the school’s band members to take an international trip where parents could accompany their children to Japan.

Brad Matheson presented the offer in a Skype meeting telling parents and students, “If you register before March 1, 2016, for this group, you’ll receive free trip cancellation insurance.” He stated this offer was intended as an added incentive bonus in order to encourage early registration.