ST. GEORGE — A Southern Utah insurance agent who collected commissions from more than two dozen fraudulent life insurance applications pleaded guilty to 11 felony charges Thursday, while more than 20 felonies were dismissed.
Michael Craig Nebeker, 39, of Santa Clara, pleaded guilty to two second-degree felony counts of a fraudulent insurance act and one count of the same charge that was amended to a third-degree felony. He also pleaded guilty to one count of forgery and seven counts of identity fraud crimes, each a third-degree felony.
The state agreed to drop 22 charges, including one second-degree count of pattern of unlawful activity and one count of a fraudulent insurance act, along with 20 third-degree felony counts of identity fraud crimes in exchange for a guilty plea.
The charges stem from an investigation by the Fraud Division of the Utah Insurance Department into allegations the defendant collected commissions from more than two dozen fraudulent life insurance applications he wrote on individuals without their knowledge, by either forging the individual’s signatures or electronically signing the documents himself. The fraud took place from October 2017 through December 2017, court records indicate.
Using false addresses and fake bank account information, Nebeker would receive commissions upfront when the fraudulent applications were filed.