Santa Barbara Insurance Agent Pockets Money, Leaving Client Uninsured During Deadly Mudslides
Photo: Mark Lynch
After receiving complaints from his clients, the California Department of Insurance opened an investigation into the insurance dealings of 40-year old Mark Lynch.
They discovered Lynch defrauded 5 clients: three Santa Barbara homeowners and two small business owners.
Starting in January 2016, for 12 months, Lynch misappropriated premium payments totaling $72,425, using the funds for personal expenses.
In addition, one client was left without insurance during the month of January in 2018, when the deadly Montecito mudslide occurred. Fortunately, the client’s property was not affected by the devastating slides.
The Department of Insurance filed to have Lynch’s insurance license revoked and on November 8th, 2019, California Department of Insurance detectives arrested Lynch.
He faces 13 felony counts of fraud theft, embezzlement, and money laundering. Lynch was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $100,000.
“Leaving homeowners without insurance during the Montecito Mudslides could have been devastating for these families and businesses,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “The arrest of this agent should be a warning to anyone who puts consumers at risk to seek personal benefit. The Department of Insurance will continue to use every resource available to stop unscrupulous agents from preying on customers.”
Photo from the California Department of Insurance