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Former licensed insurance agent Brett E. Lovett, 53, of Camarillo was found guilty of 29 felony counts including grand theft, elder abuse, money laundering, and burglary after a 15-month California Department of Insurance investigation found he defrauded at least nine victims, including senior citizens, of close to $1.2 million.

Lovett was arrested in October 2017 along with Robert C. Burlisonnof La Canada after the Department’s investigation revealed that between 2011 and 2016, Lovett defrauded at least nine victims. Several of his victims were senior citizens whom he met and befriended at a place of worship in Carpinteria. Other victims sought legal advice from Lovett through his legal aid information business.

Burlison, a licensed California attorney and owner of Burlison Law Group in Pasadena, California, was alleged in the felony complaint to have aided and conspired with Lovett. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Burlison denied any wrongdoing and said he has “no connection at all” to Lovett – that he was also a victim of his fraud.

“Somehow, the Department of Insurance thinks he’s a bad guy, and that I conspired with him, and that’s the furthest from the truth,” Burlison said in an interview. “That is not me, it did not occur.”

Victims entrusted Lovett with their money for proposed investments that never existed, or for financial management purposes. Lovett then misappropriated the money for his own personal use and to repay some of his victims — sometimes using his Power of Attorney and Promissory Notes to embezzle funds from victims.

“This former licensed insurance agent preyed on innocent senior citizens to line his pockets with no regard for his victims’ wellbeing,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Thanks to the hard work by my Department investigators and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office his victims will have justice.”

Lovett has a history of embezzling money from members of the places of worship he attends.

In 2007, doing business as Northwest Asset Fund, he was ordered to pay more than $675,900 in restitution, fines and sanctions by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Lovett never paid the fines or restitution.

The CFTC entered a permanent injunction against Lovett, who never registered with the CFTC. Between October 2002 and August 2005, Lovett fraudulently solicited money from individuals, purportedly to trade commodity futures, through false promises of high returns from a low-risk investment.

Lovett’s license to transact insurance expired in May 2000. He was not acting as an insurance agent during this time, but he was giving financial advice which he was not licensed to give.

Lovett is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on May 9, 2024. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office is prosecuting the case.

State Bar records reflect that Burlison was disbarred in 2019 after he stipulated to committing three acts of professional misconduct related to a single client matter.