LOS ANGELES — Francis Okyere, 70, a previously licensed insurance agent in Westlake Village, was arrested today in relation to a scheme that involved him allegedly stealing multiple victims’ identities and using them to open a fraudulent insurance agency. The victims’ identities were also used on small business loan applications to fund the fraudulent agency, known as Cyber Access Insurance Agency.
Okyere was charged with 17 felony counts including identity theft and grand theft by false pretenses. Okyere’s alleged accomplice, Holly Freeman, 40, was also arrested today and charged with four counts of felony identity theft for her alleged involvement in the same scheme.
The California Department of Insurance began an investigation after receiving a complaint from one of Okyere’s ex-relatives, alleging he had stolen the identities of several people in order to open a new insurance agency. The Department’s investigation confirmed that Okyere stole the identities of four victims, in order to open Cyber Access Insurance Agency.
The Department’s investigation discovered Okyere had also applied for a series of Small Business Administration and Paycheck Protection Program loans, the federal program to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The documents related to those loans revealed two of the same stolen victims’ identities had been used to fraudulently secure loan funds in the amount of $38,963. Okyere used the same stolen identities when he applied for forgiveness of one of the loans.
This is the second time fraud accusations have been brought against Okyere, who has previously been convicted of grand theft following another Department investigation which found he stole $65,186 in insurance premiums from small business owners. The Department ordered Okyere to surrender his license in 2019 and he is pending sentencing in that matter.
Okyere’s bail was set at $815,000 and Freeman’s bail is set at $100,000. Their arraignment is scheduled for August 22, 2022. The case is being prosecuted by the Healthcare Fraud Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Source: California Department of Insurance
“Some of the statements in this third party article may be forward-looking statements and perhaps even inaccurate statements. AgencyEquity or Strategic Agencies LLC does not make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or updated status of such statements. Therefore, in no case whatsoever will AgencyEquity or Strategic Agencies LLC be liable to anyone for any decision made or action taken in conjunction with the information and/or statements in this press release or for any related damages.”