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Ex-insurance agent charged with financial elder abuse against aunt

A former insurance agent has been charged with financial elder abuse for allegedly forging his aunt's signature to make withdrawals from a life insurance policy he sold to her, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said.

Myles Seishin Hanashiro, 47, was arrested on four felony counts of financial elder abuse.

"Insurance agents who prey on elders are particularly loathsome," Jones said. "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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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's. The address change was completed without her knowledge or permission, Jones said.

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. He then forged his aunt’s signature and cashed two checks and deposited the other two checks into his personal account. Hanashiro’s aunt lost more than $110,000 from her life annuity policy, Jones said.

If convicted on all charges, Hanashiro faces up to four years in state prison, fines and financial restitution. Hanashiro is being held on a $200,000 bail. His license to sell insurance expired in 2009.

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