Local Insurance Agent Pleads Not Guilty in Alleged Fraud

A licensed insurance agent and his wife, both La Cañada Flintridge residents, were recently arrested in connection with a $1 million insurance fraud, authorities said.
Peter Muh Kim, 39, and his wife, Jin Kyung Kim, 35, were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of three felony counts each of insurance fraud and three felony counts each of grand theft, according to the California Department of Insurance.
Peter Muh Kim pleaded not guilty on Wednesday at an arraignment and bail was set at $350,000, said Los Angeles County district attorney’s spokesman Paul Eakins. Kim’s wife was expected to be arraigned in L.A. today, Sept. 27, Eakins said.
Authorities allege the couple did not disclose a life insurance policyholder was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
When the person died in July 2014, life insurance companies paid more than $1 million to Jin Kyung Kim, according to a statement.
Peter Muh Kim is alleged to have sold two policies to his wife and fraudulently claimed her as the insured’s niece and beneficiary. At the same time, Jin Kyung Kim allegedly paid for an additional life insurance policy on the insured, incorrectly listing herself as the sister and beneficiary, the statement said.
Both are alleged to have falsely claimed Jin Kyung Kim was related to the insured to show “insurable interest” for the policies.
“To those contemplating insurance fraud, let this be an example that this crime is a felony,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Arresting the individuals behind this life insurance fraud scheme is another win for the department and our law enforcement partners. It should serve as a warning to any agent or broker breaking the law — we will aggressively investigate allegations of wrongdoing and work with our district attorney partners to prosecute scam artists and dishonest insurance producers.”

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