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Appeal Court Won't Halt Brea Insurance Firm's Liquidation

Courts: Ex-broker of state-seized Bestland claimed he was denied an adequate hearing.


SANTA ANA — A state Court of Appeal has refused to halt the liquidation of a Brea insurance operation that state regulators first seized three years ago from Lawrence D. Kenemore Jr., a recently convicted former insurance broker.

A three-judge appellate panel in Santa Ana found no merit in Kenemore's contentions that he was denied an adequate hearing and that evidence against him was inadmissible.

Kenemore ran Bestland Insurance Agency, which also had an office in Los Angeles. The state Department of Insurance seized Bestland's Los Angeles office in March 1993 and took over the Brea operation in March 1995.

The state agency accused Bestland of selling fraudulent workers' compensation policies and accused Kenemore of pocketing $40,000 in customers' premiums on the unauthorized sale of policies.

In court, the state agency also alleged that Kenemore had engaged in a host of other wrongdoing, including the sale of insurance through unlicensed sales people, illegal operations in other states and the failure to admit on agency records that he had pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor in a case in which he had been charged with arson.

Kenemore, who lost his California broker's license in April 1993, also ran the Assn. of Trust and Guarantee in Fountain Valley. He apparently moved that business to Texas, where he was convicted last month by a federal court jury of 25 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering.

Federal prosecutors in Texas had accused him of defrauding more than 280 employers of money invested in Assn. of Trust and Guarantee for employee benefits and workers' compensation insurance. He was accused of falsely representing the insurance policies as union trust funds, according to the California Department of Insurance.

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