Francis Okyere, 70, a previously licensed insurance agent in Westlake Village, California, was sentenced this week after pleading no contest to 17 felony counts of identity theft and grand theft by false pretenses.
A California Department of Insurance investigation reportedly found Okyere stole multiple victims’ identities and used them to open a fraudulent insurance agency. Okyere was sentenced to two years in county jail and to pay restitution in full.
The CDI began an investigation after receiving a complaint from one of Okyere’s ex-relatives that he had stolen the identities of several people in order to open a new insurance agency. The department’s investigation confirmed that Okyere stole the identities of four victims to open Cyber Access Insurance Agency. The victims’ identities were also used on small business loan applications to fund the fraudulent agency.
The department’s investigation reportedly discovered Okyere had also applied for a series of Small Business Administration and Paycheck Protection Program loans, the federal program to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The documents related to those loans revealed two of the same stolen victims’ identities were used to fraudulently secure loan funds of $38,963. Okyere reportedly used the same stolen identities when he applied for forgiveness of one of the loans. Okyere was arrested on Aug. 18.
This is reportedly the second time fraud accusations have been brought against Okyere, who was previously convicted of grand theft following another CDI investigation which found he stole $65,186 in insurance premiums from small business owners. The department ordered Okyere to surrender his license in 2019.
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