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California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has announced that former life insurance agent, Myles Seishin Hanashiro, 47, was arrested and booked at Los Angeles County Jail on four felony counts of financial elder abuse.
Acting as a licensed life insurance agent in 2005, Hanashiro sold a $100,000 life annuity policy to his 78-year-old aunt. In April 2009, his aunt received a letter from her insurance company notifying her that the address associated with her policy had been changed to the same mailing address as Hanashiro. The address change was completed without her knowledge or permission.
Between April 2009 and April 2010, Hanashiro allegedly submitted four withdrawal requests to the life insurance company by forging his aunt's signature and all four checks were mailed to Hanashiro's home address. The accused then forged his aunt's signature and cashed two checks and deposited the other two checks into his personal account. Hanashiro's deception cost his aunt more than $110,000 in loses from her life annuity policy.
The crime remained undetected until March 2012 when the victim made contact with the insurance company regarding the status of her policy. Hanashiro concealed his crimes by changing the address, phone number and contact information from the victim's annuity policy to his own contact information so the victim would remain unaware of the withdrawals from her annuity.
If convicted on all charges, Hanashiro faces up to four years in state prison, fines and victim restitution. Hanashiro is being held on a $200,000 dollar bond with a bail hold contingency requiring proof that bail funds are from legitimate sources. Hanashiro's insurance license (#0D42867) expired in September 2009.
"Insurance agents who prey on elders are particularly loathsome," said Insurance Commissioner Jones. "Violating their fiduciary trust and responsibility by taking advantage of vulnerable seniors is simply unforgivable and I will continue use every tool at my department's disposal to pursue and bring to justice criminals who prey on seniors."
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