PHOENIX - A Valley man says he paid a lot of money for home insurance only to find out he never had insurance at all. He says his agent pocketed the money, and he may not be the only one.
Dozens of people claim they paid cash for car and home insurance only to find out they were issued bogus policies.
“This is the casa de Espino.”
Arturo Espino says he's proud of his home that he built from the ground up.
“I've been building this house for two years, and yeah it's a dream come true.”
And now that he's moved in, he needed to have something very important for his home.
“That's home insurance.”
So Arturo says he walked into this South Phoenix agency called Citywide Insurance to get a quote for his house and two vehicles and he liked what he heard.
“They ended up quoting me $1,173.”
That quote, he says, was given by a agent named Desiderio Gonzalez who also goes by Desi Gonzalez. According to Arturo, Desi claimed the company only accepted cash.
But after handing Desi nearly $1,200 in cash, Arturo says he later learned he had been conned.
“Just to find out I was robbed for my money and given a fake policy.”
Arturo says he found out he was taken advantage of when he called Citywide Insurance to check on something and found out he wasn't in the system. Not only that, Arturo says the agency told him this:
“They're saying that they're employee was stealing money, and giving fake policies.”
Arturo says he wound up with one of those bogus policies and he may not be the only one. Citywide Insurance filed a police report claiming Desi Gonzalez pocketed cash from numerous victims. In fact, Citywide Insurance gave us these documents listing victims and the dollar amount they say Desi Gonzalez took.
“I was just in shock I couldn't believe it.”
3 On Your Side tried several times contacting Desi Gonzales, but each time, we kept running into his dad instead, who told us he would have his son call us. Desi never did, and each time we returned, things would escalate on a recent visit Desi’s dad yelled, “I don’t f****** know where Desi is!”
Desi Gonzales never did contact 3 On Your Side about all that money he reportedly took. Leaving Arturo and possibly many others, financially strapped.
“It left me and my family in a bind, We had to come up with another $1,200 to get new insurance again.”
The Arizona department of insurance tells 3 On Your Side they are aware of the allegations centering around Desi Gonzalez and they too have an active investigation going on right now.
If you've been victimized you're encouraged to contact Phoenix police or the Arizona Department of Insurance.