Thursday, August 11, 2011

Insurance agent charged with theft

Branko Cekarmis, a 37-year-old insurance agent from Kent, Wash., has been charged with four counts of theft for allegedly misappropriating thousands of dollars from his customers.

When Cekarmis, an Allstate agent, collected premium payments, he was supposed to deposit the checks and cash into a specific bank account managed by Allstate. The company would then apply those premiums to the customers' policies.

But 20 times between early February 2009 and late January 2010, Cekarmis either failed to deposit the money or failed to properly allocate it to the appropriate customers' policies. In some cases, he only allocated part of the payment to a policy. In others, he put the money toward a different customer's policy.

All told, he's believed to have misappropriated $7,767.

Allstate's corporate security department investigated the matter and sent the case to state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's Special Investigations Unit.

On June 3rd, the insurance commissioner's office revoked Cekarmis' insurance license. On Monday, Cekarmis was charged in King County Superior Court with four counts of second-degree theft.