New England Insurance Agent Blog

Agent’s Corner: Jailtime for Bonzer?
/ Categories: News & Views

Agent’s Corner: Jailtime for Bonzer?

With most of our focus on agent best practices, it's worth an occasional glance at the opposite end of the spectrum: the bizarre actions that get wayward agents into a lot of trouble. Which brings us to Jacob Bonzer, a California agent recently arrested (on the run in Chicago) on 96 felony counts, including selling bogus workers comp policies to CA businesses. If there were an IQ test for felons, Bonzer would fall toward the bottom. Here are some of his "worst practices":

  • Booked phony insurance policies and collected $285K in commissions (note to Bonzer: this stuff does catch up with you sooner rather than later)
  • Created a fictitious mortgage company, providing loans to fictitious homeowners, with Bonzer collecting the all-too-real commissions (note to Bonzer: see above)
  • Created fictitious carrier, GW Mutual Risk Retention Group, and collected $280K in comp premiums that came with no coverage (note to Bonzer: eventually, someone will get injured)
  • Bonzer, perhaps knowing that his shelf life as an agent was limited, spent the money on luxury rentals, travel, wine and fine dining. He lived a complicated life, using multiple post office boxes, virtual staff, office spaces, email accounts, web domains and bank accounts. He and his wife wrote a blog entitled "2chefs1home." (It's been taken down, perhaps to reappear as "1chef,nohome"). As complicated - and doomed - as his schemes were, life ahead looks relatively simple and austere. Bonzer faces a maximum sentence of 87+ years. That's a long time to contemplate a few moments as a high-flying agent, followed, inevitably, by long long years of no fun at all.

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