37-Year Old Arrested In Orange County for Embezzling Over $590,000
The case goes back to December 2014. In the span of two months, Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company paid $50,000 in advanced commissions based on seven life insurance applications Joseph Ramiro Garcia submitted.
The applications were filled out with bogus social security numbers, contact information, and driver’s licenses. However, the banking information was real and identical in all seven applications.
Garcia received over $20,000 of the $50,000 payout. This triggered the insurance company to file a complaint with the California Department of Insurance Investigation Division. Their investigation revealed the case went deeper than 7 fraudulent life insurance applications.
From February 2014 to February 2018, Garcia was funding his designer clothing shopping sprees, dinners, and trips to Disneyland with his clients’ retirement funds, while they were being slapped with IRS Tax penalties for failing to report income and early withdrawal of funds.
Most of Garcia’s 18 victims had a close relationship with him, some were targeted after Garcia used his position as a tax prepare to gain their trust. After trust as established, Garcia would present opportunities to roll over their retirement accounts to an account he controlled through one of his two companies, Building Bridges Financial Firm LLC and VOS Financial LLC.
When the embezzlement came to light, Garcia returned some of the $598,906.52 he stole and attempted to cover his tracks by setting up financial investments. The evidence was too great and Garcia was arrested on 09/20/2019 for grand theft, fraud, burglary, and elder abuse as some of his clients were over 65.
Garcia, who has since been stripped of his insurance agent license, was booked into the Orange County Jail where he may remain while the case is being prosecuted by the Orange County DA under the Life and Annuity Consumer Protection Program unless he posts bail which is set at $600,000.