Santa Barbara man accused of pocketing insurance payments

Mark Lynch


Detectives with the California Department of Insurance arrested insurance agent Mark Lynch, 40, of Santa Barbara on Tuesday for allegedly pocketing his clients’ premium payments; leaving them uninsured.

Lynch collected over $72,425 in insurance premium payments from five clients. He then allegedly used those funds for his personal benefit.

The three clients, three Santa Barbara homeowners and two small business owners, were left uninsured against potential liability claims.

“Leaving homeowners without insurance during the Montecito Mudslides could have been devastating for these families and businesses,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “The arrest of this agent should be a warning to anyone who puts consumers at risk to seek personal benefit.”

On Tuesday, detectives booked Lynch into the Santa Barbara County Jail on 13 felony counts of grand theft, embezzlement, and money laundering in lieu of $100,000 bail. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.