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Isidro Santillan, 53, of Pacoima, was arrested in August and charged with 13 counts of grand theft and three counts of commercial burglary. Santillan allegedly stole more than $100,000 by selling insurance policies and bonds to licensed contractors and not forwarding the premium to insurance companies. If convicted Santillan faces up to 12 years in state prison.

“When Santillan stole his client’s insurance premium money, he exposed business owners to great financial risk by leaving them without insurance coverage,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “My enforcement team will aggressively investigate and bring to justice any insurance agent or broker that violates their fiduciary responsibility in the name of greed.”

Investigators allege Santillan, aka Art Sanchez, issued premium checks that did not require the payer’s signature, and then instead of sending these premiums to his clients’ insurers, he cashed the checks for his own personal use. Santillan did not forward premium payments to purchase policies for his clients, which left his victims at risk for uninsured losses.

Santillan attempted to cover up his theft by providing both falsified and legitimate certificates of insurance and premium finance agreements. In some instances, he allegedly made partial premium payments but the policies were later cancelled by insurers due to lack of full payment.

The Department of Insurance launched an investigation in late 2012 after receiving complaints about Santillan’s business practices regarding the sale of commercial auto, general liability, and worker’s compensation insurance and bonds. Some of his victims discovered cancelled checks that exceeded the cost of the insurance policy they had agreed to purchase.

The Department of Insurance is looking for additional victims in this case and encourages anyone that may have done business with Sid Santillan, Art Sanchez, Insurance Service Center or Isidro Santillan Insurance Services to contact the Investigation Division, Valencia Regional office at (661) 253-7500.