Industry News

Orange Coast Title agrees to $626,000 fine

Settlement ends six-year investigation by California regulators

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A six-year investigation of Orange Coast Title Co. by the California Department of Insurance has ended with the company agreeing to pay $800,000 but denying some charges that it engaged in illegal activities such as making false entries in its books. The Department of Insurance began an investigation of Orange Coast in 2000, and in February 2006 said it was seeking $14 million in civil penalties for alleged kickbacks and 2,442 violations of the insurance code. The agreement announced Tuesday requires Orange Coast to pay a $626,335 fine and reimburse the Department $173,664 for the cost of the investigation. A spokesman for the Department of Insurance, Norman Williams, said the settlement was less than the penalties originally sought in part because some complaints turned out to be the same incident reported multiple times. "When we get these types of complaints and do the preliminary work and categorization of complaints, we have to throw the whole kitchen sink into the a...