Long Beach insurance agent pocketed client’s money, left them without coverage, authorities say

A Long Beach insurance agent was arrested Thursday for allegedly swindling a business owner out of thousands of dollars and leaving them without a cargo policy that caused delayed shipments, authorities announced.

Gelinda Phann Keo, 43, was arrested by Department of Insurance detectives and booked on one felony count of grand theft at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, according to the California Department of Insurance. Her bail was set at $70,000.

“This agent allegedly stole money from a hardworking business owner, leaving them uninsured and financially vulnerable,” stated Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “My Department will continue to investigate agents who use their position of trust to take advantage of their clients and bring them to justice.”

Keo, who was doing business as Global Cargo Insurance Agency, collected $5,500 in premium payment for a cargo policy for a client’s business that included international bonds, authorities said, but the client was informed that customs could not verify the bonds, which delayed shipments.

The insurance policy secured by Keo had been canceled for not being paid, leaving the business without insurance coverage for months until the client paid an additional $5,500 to the insurance company to obtain a valid insurance policy, according to officials.

An administrative action against Keo’s license by the insurance department is pending. The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.
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