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Lockyer Subpoenas Insurance Brokers

Times Staff Writer

California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer issued subpoenas Monday to a number of insurance brokers and companies as part of a new investigation of alleged bid rigging and violations of state antitrust law.

More orders to companies to turn over documents and other evidence will follow in coming weeks, said Lockyer spokesman Tom Dresslar. He declined to identify the targets of the subpoenas.

The move by Lockyer was expected as part of a two-pronged enforcement action with state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. Both are examining possible conflicts of interest involving insurance companies and the brokers who help place business with them.

Garamendi said last week he would be filing a civil suit against a Del Mar, Calif., employee benefits insurance broker, Universal Life Resources Inc., and other unnamed companies Monday.

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However, the complaint was still being fine-tuned late Monday and had not been filed, said Garamendi spokesman Norman Williams.

ULR was sued last week by New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer, who has launched a sweeping probe against some of the country’s top brokerages and insurance companies. Spitzer alleged that ULR forced insurers to add hidden fees to life and disability policies purchased by companies for their employees.

ULR officials have declined to comment.


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