Insurance brokers accused of defrauding clients in SF, plead not guilty

A pair of insurance brokers who surrendered to police earlier this week pleaded not guilty to embezzlement charges in a San Francisco courtroom Tuesday, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Christopher Ramos, 38, of Santa Rosa, and Jay Trisko, 36, of Rohnert Park, were wanted on suspicion of committing white collar crimes — allegedly pocketing more than $500,000 in premium payments from customers instead of forwarding them to insurance companies, District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement.

Both defendants, who ran San Francisco-based cSolutions Insurance Brokerage LLC, are facing charges of grand theft, conspiracy to commit fraud, theft of insurance premiums by a fiduciary and forgery, prosecutors said. They are each being held on $550,000 bail.

“These licensed insurance brokers allegedly abused the responsibilities they owe their clients,” Gascon said in a statement.

The duo’s alleged scheme began in late 2010 and continued through the end of 2012. Prosecutors claim Ramos and Trisko would forward none, or some, of their victims’ insurance premiums, keeping the money themselves and resulting in the cancellation of policies for nonpayment.

Trisko is also accused of starting another company, Trisko Insurance Services LLC, which faces similar allegations of theft, prosecutors said.

The charges stem from a Department of Insurance investigation into the business practices of Ramos and Trisko, which included witness interviews and a review of both companies’ bank records, prosecutors said.

Ramos and Trisko are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing Nov. 23, prosecutors said. Ramos is charged with 24 felonies, Trisko is charged with 26.

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