Menu Close

Matthew Arriaga, 37, of Ventura pleaded guilty to four counts of felony grand theft after embezzling more than $99,440 in premiums prior to his arrest in October of 2013. While out on bail, Arriaga continued his criminal activity which added to his charges and landed him back in custody.

“The fact that this former insurance agent lied to consumers and then continued to commit the same crime while out on bail is appalling,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “California has a vibrant insurance marketplace and the criminal activity of those looking to degrade the trust of professional agents will not be tolerated.”

A Department of Insurance investigation revealed that Arriaga was collecting premium payments for commercial liability policies and failing to place the policies with an insurance company. In some instances Arriaga would forward funds after his clients’ policies were canceled due to lack of payment. According to investigators, while out on bail and working under a suspended license, Arriaga continued to embezzle funds from at least two additional victims. After insurance investigators discovered  the continued criminal activity, with cooperation with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, Arriaga’s bail was revoked and he remained in custody from May 19, 2014 until his conviction.

Arriaga is the second suspect to plead guilty to multiple felony charges stemming from an investigation into a wholesale and retail commercial insurance agency co-owned by Arriaga. Last April, David Patrick Clark, 53, pleaded guilty to one count of Grand theft and has been sentenced to 90 days in Ventura County Jail, five years formal felony probation and ordered to pay more than $97,445 in restitution to victims. third suspect, James Fayed III, 40, who worked with Arriaga and Clark, is due in Ventura County Superior Court on September 29, 2014 for a preliminary hearing on four felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement.