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Insurance agent arrested for allegedly stealing from late Carlsbad art dealer

Carlsbad city sign.jpg
Alexander Nguyen
/
KPBS
A photo of the Carlsbad sign spanning Carlsbad Boulevard, May 23, 2022.

A Palm Springs insurance agent who allegedly stole over $75,000 from one of his clients, a late prominent art dealer and philanthropist who lived in Carlsbad, has been arrested, the California Department of Insurance said Wednesday.

John Ryan, 64, who operated Calinsured, Greater Palm Springs Insurance, and PS Independent Insurance, was arrested in Palm Springs on Tuesday on suspicion of crimes that include elder abuse, grand theft and identity theft.

The Department of Insurance said Ryan was set to be arraigned last month in San Diego County on a 45-count criminal complaint, but never showed up to court.

Among Ryan's clients was Gregg Juarez, an art dealer who lived in Carlsbad until his death in 2018. The Department of Insurance alleges its investigation found that Ryan diverted more than $75,000 from Juarez's accounts while he was Juarez's insurance agent.

The department says its investigation into Ryan began when his former employees alleged Ryan kept premiums that should have been sent to insurance companies. The alleged "fraudulent acts or acts of dishonesty" led to his insurance license being barred earlier this month.

Current and former clients of Ryan's were encouraged "to review their policies with their insurance company to verify the validity of their policy and ensure any funds entrusted to Ryan were sent to the insurance company as required under law," according to a Department of Insurance statement.

Anyone with information about the case, or who believes they are a victim of Ryan's, was advised to contact the Department of Insurance at 909-919- 2200.