Industry News

California title company accused of kickbacks

Insurance commissioner seeks $14 million in penalties

A California title company has been hit with an accusation from the state seeking $14 million in civil penalties for alleged kickbacks. Orange Coast Title Co. allegedly engaged in illegal rebate activities, unfair methods of competition and "deceptive acts or practices in the sale of title insurance," according to California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. The company is accused of committing 2,442 violations of the insurance code, according to Garamendi's office. "We are very surprised by this filing," John L. Marconi, president of Orange Coast Title Family of Cos., said in a statement today. In the intervening years, "we have not heard anything from the DOI concerning results of their audit or any alleged violations," he said, "and we are disappointed this has occurred." He added that the company is taking the allegations seriously and will be investigating the accusations. The department launched an investigation of the company in 2000 after receiving "numerous complaints" a...