Huntington Beach woman arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $90,000 from client
A Huntington Beach woman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of financial elder abuse, grand theft and forgery by Newport Beach police after an investigation by the California Department of Insurance revealed the woman allegedly defrauded more than $90,000 from an elderly client.
Sally Nava Kanarek, 76, was taken to the Orange County jail. Her bail was set to $50,000, according to a news release issued about Kanarek’s arrest, but as of Friday afternoon it had been reset to zero, jail records indicated.
She was also scheduled to be arraigned on Friday. As of press deadline, court records did not show a plea to any of the three felony charges.
Department deputy press secretary and spokesperson Allison Castro said Friday authorities were tipped off about Kanarek’s actions by her employer, who discovered that Kanarek, a former insurance agent, sold a policy to the victim while working for the company and did not disclose that she was the victim’s alleged caretaker.
The sale was against company policy, Castro said, so the employer terminated Kanarek. That triggered a report to the Department of Insurance on Aug. 5, 2021, as every agency that employs a department licensee is required to report to the department if they are terminated.
Kanarek reportedly moved into the victim’s home in 2020 and, upon learning of the victim’s medical condition, allegedly gained control of the client’s finances while posing as their “healthcare manager.” Kanarek allegedly received more than $90,000 from the victim, including some checks that appeared to have been forged.
Officials said Kanarek also sold the victim two annuities valuing more than $580,000, which came with a commission of over $7,800. She also reportedly attempted to withdraw over $110,000 from the victim’s IRA and to sell their home.
According to officials, the victim did not have the capacity to approve any of Kanarek’s actions. A conservator has since been appointed for the victim.
Castro said if anyone believes they were a victim of Kanarek, they should call (714) 712-7600.
Additionally, if anyone believes they or a loved one were victimized in a similar way, they should call the department’s consumer hotline at (800) 927-4357 or visit insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/101-help/index.cfm.
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