A former California insurance agent has been accused of stealing more than $1 million from three former clients.
Steven Gordon, 67, was arraigned Thursday on 21 felony counts of grand theft, forgery, identity theft and credit card fraud, according to the California Department of Insurance.
“The Department of Insurance is responsible for enforcing standards of conduct for insurance agents to protect consumers,” said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Mr. Gordon had a fiduciary responsibility to represent his clients’ best interest. Instead, he allegedly stole more than $1 million from them, putting his greed above their needs. The Department of Insurance will always persist in investigating and stopping insurance professionals who put their clients at financial risk.”
The department began investigating Gordon after a life insurance company reported suspicious withdrawals from one of its customer’s accounts. The department found that Gordon, the owner of Geetis Group, allegedly made six electronic funds transfers, totaling $103,520, from the victim’s annuity account, which he controlled. He also allegedly pilfered $70,000 from the same victim’s savings account, charged nearly $100,000 to their credit card, and forged checks to siphon about $310,000 from their bank account.
During the course of the investigation, the department discovered two additional victims, a married couple. Gordon allegedly made dozens of electronic transfers, totaling $679,934, from multiple annuity accounts owned by the victims to a bank account he controlled. Gordon also allegedly forged checks to steal an additional $102,852 from the couple’s bank account.
Gordon is thought to have covered up these crimes by stealing the identities of his victims and changing the mailing address of their accounts to his home address. He also changed email addresses associated with their accounts to an email address he created. This prevented the victims from receiving account statements that would have alerted them to the withdrawals he is charged with making. The Department of Insurance alleged that Gordon would then email the victims phony account statements that omitted the withdrawals.
The department said it believes that there may be more victims in the case who are unknown at this time.