A former insurance agent has been arrested for allegedly taking part in a scheme that saw him steal multiple victims’ identities in order to open a “fraudulent insurance agency”, the California Department of Insurance said on Thursday (August 18).
Francis Okyere, 70, was previously licensed as an insurance agent in Westlake Village. He is also accused of having used victims’ identities on small business loan applications to fund the allegedly fraudulent agency, called Cyber Access Insurance Agency.
Okyere has been charged with 17 felony counts, including theft and grand theft by false pretences, the department said.
The accused has previously been convicted of grand theft following another department investigation that found Okyere had stolen $65,186 in insurance premiums from business owners. He was told to surrender his insurance licence in 2019 and sentencing in the case is pending.
Holly Freeman, 40, named as Okyere’s “alleged accomplice”, was also arrested and charged with four counts of felony identity theft, according to the department.
CDI investigated after getting a complaint from one of Okyere’s ex-relatives that alleged he had stolen people’s identities to open a new insurance agency.
The department said it was able to confirm that Okyere stole the identities of four victims and that he had applied for “a series” of Small Business Administration and Paycheck Protection Program loans. Documents related to the loans showed two of the same victims’ stolen identities had been used to secure funds of $36,963.
Okyere’s bail was set at $815,000 and Freeman’s at $100,000.