H.B. man gets 180 days in jail and must pay restitution after stealing $132,000 from insurance clients
A 54-year-old Huntington Beach man who worked as a licensed public insurance adjuster was sentenced Friday to 180 days in jail and five years’ probation for stealing about $132,000 in claims proceeds from his clients.
John Schoon pleaded guilty Aug. 16 to three counts of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust and one count of forgery, all felonies.
A dozen other felony charges were dropped as part of a plea deal with Orange County prosecutors.
Schoon — who has already paid $12,000 in restitution, according to the California Department of Insurance — was ordered to pay an additional $52,311, court records show. He also “is forbidden from engaging in insurance-related activities,” according to a department news release.
He asked for a week to report to jail, but the request was denied and he was taken into custody Friday with credit for 10 days already served. His request to apply for home confinement also was denied.
Schoon forged the signature of at least one client on a check and forged endorsement guarantee stamps on behalf of the client’s mortgage company, insurance officials said.
“He failed to provide clients with the claim proceeds they were owed on multiple occasions,” according to the Department of Insurance. “Mr. Schoon lied to clients about the status of their payments and wrote fraudulent checks with no intention of providing them with their funds, while using those claims proceeds for personal expenses or to pay other clients.”
Schoon lost his insurance license in January 2015 but kept doing business under the license numbers of his wife and a former colleague, according to the department.
“The department’s investigation revealed this adjuster went to great lengths to defraud his clients,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in a statement. “We are committed to making sure Californians are protected from those who rip off trusting consumers.”
Daily Pilot staff contributed to this report.
12:55 PM, Sep. 23, 2019: This article was originally published at 12:27 p.m. and has been updated with additional information and comments.
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