Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento man sentenced in Yolo County court for insurance fraud

A Sacramento man has been sentenced in Yolo County Superior Court to six years and four months for insurance fraud.

Russel Sage, 39, will serve one year and eight months in custody and the remaining four years and eight months on mandatory supervision, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release. Yolo County Superior Court Judge David Reed sentenced Sage to five years and eight months for theft of fiduciary funds, money laundering and an enhancement for stealing more than $200,000 in Yolo County and eight additional months for theft by false pretenses in Marin County.

In 2011, a Yolo County business placed four of its insurance policies with Sage, an insurance broker. Sage instructed the business to wire him money, which he said he would send to the insurance companies. Instead of maintaining the money in a separate trust account, as required by the Insurance Code, Sage mixed the business’ money with his own money, authorities said.

When the business asked for receipts showing that the insurance was paid, Sage reportedly gave vague answers and was evasive. He eventually told the business that it would receive cancellation notices from the insurance companies because he rewrote the policies with different insurance carriers.

But authorities said Sage never rewrote the policies. Instead, he allowed them to lapse and spent the money on personal expenses such as trips, gambling and expensive meals. The theft was discovered when the business called the insurance companies to determine how much was paid on the policies. Authorities said Sage kept all $250,000 and never paid the premiums.

On June 9, the court will set a restitution hearing, during which Judge Reed will determine the amount of restitution owed to the business.