LOS ANGELES – After 51-year-old Mia Chang had been sentenced for insurance fraud and grand theft, she promptly returned the stolen premiums, with interest, totaling $19,218 to the construction company that filed a complaint. Although the construction company that was swindled received the money, it was too little too late for Chang.
Years earlier, the victim had received a nonpayment of premium notice from a collection agency after he labored under the notion that he had been paying his premiums. He had in fact been making the payments to Chang, who in turn was pocketing most of the cash.
The construction company unknowingly was left without coverage for several months. When first confronted, Chang allegedly assured the victim that there was an error. She issued him a fake insurance certificate.
Two years elapsed from the time of the discovered theft to when the victim filed a complaint. By that time, Chang’s license had been revoked. She evaded arrest for an additional three years until she was located and apprehended last year.
The wheels of justice moved slowly, and in the end Chang, who pleaded no contest, was found guilty of criminal insurance fraud and grand thievery. She was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 200 hours of community service.
CDI (California Department of Insurance) issued a statement that included this suggestion – “Consumers and businesses should always contact the insurance company directly to verify their coverage and should report suspected fraud immediately to the department. Consumers can file a request for assistance online at insurance.ca.gov or by calling 800-927-HELP.”