News and Press Releases

Ex-Insurance Agent Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

March 22, 2012

COEUR D’ALENE – James K. Sokolis, 56, of Spokane, Washington, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Coeur d’Alene to three counts of insurance fraud, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

According to the plea agreement, James Sokolis was an insurance agent who previously owned and operated Rockwood Insurance in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Sokolis sold his book of business in August 2010, and the new company hired Sokolis to work the book of business he sold to them until late January 2011. During this time, Sokolis misappropriated clients' premium payments by failing to purchase the policies paid for or failing to remit the entire premium entrusted to him to the insurance carrier. Sokolis misappropriated a total of $356,629.46.

The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years supervised release.

Sentencing is set for June 12, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service.