LOS ANGELES, March 18 -- The California Department of Insurance issued the following news release:
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) announced today that Harold John Shields of Hawthorne, CA, 57, was extradited from Houston, Texas on March 7, 2013 and booked in the Century Sheriff Station in Lynwood, CA. The suspect has been arraigned and charged with two felony counts of grand theft and two felony counts of theft from elder. Shields is being held on $500,000 bail.
"I will not tolerate insurance brokers or agents who scam innocent policyholders, especially the elderly," said Commissioner Jones. "The alleged illegal actions of Shields resulted in the loss of two homes. My department will make sure he is brought to justice and no longer allowed to prey upon seniors."
According to CDI Investigators, from October 2006 through April 2007, Shields doing business as Wolfe Capitol Group, accepted $30,000 in premium each from two elderly victims for annuity contracts but did not remit the premium to an insurer, and failed to refund the premium to the victims.
In addition, Shields assisted the victims in refinancing their mortgages and persuaded them to use the funds toward the payment of the annuity policy and a real estate investment. This resulted in each victim giving Shields an additional $50,000, bringing the total loss for both victims to $160,000. As a result of Shields' alleged scheme, both victims lost their residences to foreclosure.
Shields faces a maximum of six years in prison if convicted on all charges. The case was investigated by CDI's Investigation Division, Los Angeles Regional office and is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's, Elder Abuse Unit.
The department has issued a suspension order against Shields prohibiting him from participating in the insurance business.
If you suspect you or a loved one has been victimized, please contact CDI investigators at (213) 346-6006.
TNS 23SQ 130319-4252642 StaffFurigay