Cedar Rapids Insurance Agent Accused of Forging Clients’ Checks

(The Gazette) - A Cedar Rapids insurance agent was accused this week of taking his clients’ insurance checks, forging them and depositing the funds into his personal account.

Joseph Drahozal, 57, of Cedar Rapids is charged with one count of forgery and two counts of fraudulent sales practices, all felonies, and one count of third-degree theft, an aggravated misdemeanor.

According to a criminal complaint, Drahozal was an insurance agent employed by DuPaco Credit Union from Oct. 12, 2021, through April 15, 2022, when the incidents happened. On Oct. 12, 2021, he’s accused of using a check from one of his clients, forging it and depositing the entire check of $1,917 into his personal account without authorization.

An Iowa Insurance Division Fraud Bureau investigation also found Drahozal accepted $666 from one client and $146 from another client for insurance payments and misappropriated the funds by commingling them with his own funds, according to the complaint. Drahozal then made payments for premiums out of his account but not until a late notice was received on or about April 6. The insurance payment was missed April 5 due to the misappropriation, the complaint stated.

If convicted, he faces up to 17 years in prison.

By Trish Mehaffey
November 30, 2022


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