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Theft conviction for former insurance agent

POSTED November 4, 2011 9:27 p.m.

A former Hughson insurance agent, who was accused of bilking her clients, has been convicted of theft of fiduciary funds.

Martha Jane Terry, 63, was convicted of one felony count of fiduciary theft by an insurance agent or broker. Terry was originally facing 33 felony counts of grand theft, embezzlement and theft of fiduciary funds.

A Stanislaus County Superior Court judge sentenced Terry last week to serve 120 days in jail and three years of formal probation. Additionally, Terry was ordered to pay restitution to her victims in the amount of $33,540.70.

Terry was arrested Dec. 13, 2010, on allegations from the California Department of Insurance that she swindled clients out of thousands of dollars. The criminal complaint filed against Terry alleged she stole the premiums from 11 clients while acting as a licensed broker/agent at the Hughson Insurance Agency.

CDI Investigators found that Terry received payments for homeowners’ and automobile insurance, but either failed to place the insurance or did not remit the full premiums to the insurer. Some clients who had been given cash receipts and insurance cards found out they weren’t covered when they submitted claims after an accident, according to CDI investigators. When one of her alleged victims was involved in an accident and discovered she had no insurance, she sued Terry and won a judgment against her for $7,500, the CDI reported.

The thefts occurred between October 2006 and September 2010.

According to CDI investigators, Terry did not have the authority to operate under the business name of Hughson Insurance.

Terry’s license to sell insurance has been revoked by the CDI.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

 

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