Another case of a shady insurance broker has come to light in California, this time making even bigger news because it affects some well known celebrities. Some of those cheated by this particular broker are Tom Hanks and Andy Summers, the former guitarist of The Police, as well as others.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) had been investigating this case, which came to a head this week in southern California. On Wednesday, 59-year-old insurance broker, Jerry B. Goldman, was arrested at his Thousand Oaks, California, home after being indicted by a federal grand jury on October 30 for mail fraud, alleging that he overcharged his clients by $800,000 over the 13 year scheme. The indictment includes 10 counts. Each of those counts carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Goldman pled not guilty when brought before a judge during his arraignment in Los Angeles and was released on $25,000 bail, posted by his wife.
The indictment of Goldman alleges that he overcharged four victims for insurance policies from 1998 until the summer of 2011. Mr. Hanks and Mr. Summers were only referred to in the indictment as “T.H.” and “A.S.”, but the prosecutor’s office confirmed their identities. The other two victims are only referred to as “M.W.H.” and “S.R.”, but it is also speculated that they are known celebrities as well. He provided these four victims with insurance coverage for numerous things, including their cars, property, and art collections, from floods, fires, earthquakes, worker’s compensation, and personal employment liability. The indictment does not break down the specific loss for each of the four victims and so far, none of the affected celebrities have issued any statements about this situation.
The scam worked by sending the actual premium price payments to the insurance company Goldman worked for, Newbury Park, and then he kept the excess amount for himself. Some clients were overcharged by as much as 600 percent. When asked by clients, he sent them altered copies of their insurance policies on the company’s letterhead and never disclosed the real premium. The indictment said he did it “in order to lull his clients into a false sense of security”. This smoke and mirrors routine was to keep them from suing him or talking to prosecutors. Goldman was doing all this while also negotiating premiums for insurance coverage and was paid a commission for each policy from the company. The lies and theft eventually caught up with him though, and now a trial date has been set for December 18 in the Los Angeles District Court.
San Francisco Insurance Attorneys
While famous celebrity names have brought this story national and world-wide attention, normal policyholders are scammed all the time, and they also deserve vigorous representation to get fair compensation for their losses. Whether the loss is big or small, if you have been the victim of an insurance scam or are subject to unfair insurance practices, contact a California insurance attorney in your area find out what legal options are available.
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