Fresno insurance agent accused in fraud case

A Fresno insurance agent was arraigned Tuesday in Fresno County Superior Court on charges of stealing policy premiums, the California Department of Insurance said.

Anthony John Diaz, 35, was arrested earlier this month and booked on felony charges of diverting funds, grand theft and embezzlement, the department said.

Diaz diverted payments and pocketed $13,815 in automobile premiums and unauthorized brokers fees from 90 policies he sold, the department said.

When customers signed up for a policy on newly purchased used vehicles, Diaz would pocket the premium, input the information into the company’s computer and take the premium amount out of the company’s trust account, the department said. This meant the policyholder had coverage but the company ended up paying for the insurance.

Diaz was fired and his alleged fraud was reported to the department after the company discovered the scheme. Diaz’s agent license was suspended by the department.

Razi Syed: 559-441-6679, @razisyed