Insurance broker arrested

A California insurance broker has been arrested on charges of swindling truckers. Paul Daniel Conejos, 29, did business as TATEMAS Truck Insurance Services and Royal Insurance Group Services Inc. in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The 29-year-old Adelanto resident is scheduled for arraignment June 1 in San Bernardino County Superior Court.

He allegedly collected premium payments from long-distance trucking companies, did not remit payments to insurance companies, but issued fraudulent insurance certificates, according to the California Insurance Commission.

Conejos pleaded not guilty at his in-custody arraignment April 12 to four felony counts of grand theft, three felony counts of forgery, two felony counts of theft by false pretense and three misdemeanor theft counts, according to court records. Client losses are about $38,000 for what is sometimes called premium diversion from April 2008 to March 2010.

When buying insurance, truckers should get referrals regarding agents or brokers from truckers they trust, said Bonnie Knoedler, co-owner of Sparks Insurance of Kenosha, Wis.