VENTURA, Calif. — Insurance agent Brenda Cervantes, 31, of Oxnard, and unlicensed employee Edith “Emely” Arellano-Quinones, 39, of Ojai, were arraigned today on misdemeanor counts of insurance fraud after allegedly selling auto insurance without proper licensing and putting their customers’ coverage and information at risk. The case is a reminder to consumers to always check the license status of their agent on the California Department of Insurance’s website or by calling its hotline number.
Investigators from the Department conducted undercover visits to a number of Victoria’s Auto Insurance Services in Ventura County in order to obtain quotes for insurance services.
Investigator visits, along with interviews with staff and also customers, discovered Arellano-Quinones was in operation and management of a branch of Victoria’s Auto Insurance Services in Oxnard while not being properly authorized as an agent. Arellano-Quinones was licensed before licensed by the Department, however relinquished her license in 2008.
Arellano-Quinones illicitly used login credentials from numerous insurance firms provided by Cervantes, a licensed insurance agent who additionally worked for Victoria’s Auto Insurance Services. Cervantes provided these login credentials to many employees who weren’t licensed to supply quotes to customers.
The investigation also determined Arellano-Quinones was knowingly, and at the direction of Cervantes, providing insurance recommendation and suggestions without a license. Their actions place customers in monetary risk and by utilizing an unauthorized agent and false credentials it might have probably nullified their purchased insurance coverage.
Cervantes and Arellano-Quinones pleaded innocent and are scheduled to come back to court on Nov 2, 2020. The Department is taking action against Cervantes’ license. The Ventura County District Attorney’s office is prosecuting this case.