A New Jersey financial advisor and insurance agent pleaded guilty to stealing $1.5 million from 21 clients, most of whom were senior citizens. Over a period of several years, the advisor sold life insurance, annuities and mutual funds to older clients. However, he never turned over their contributions to the insurance or investment companies, instead using them for his own purposes. When clients began to complain about their missing money, he asked them not to talk to police. Charged with theft and witness tampering, he now faces up to 10 years in prison and must pay restitution.

A California Asian-American has given new meaning to the term “funeral insurance.” That’s because he — and an accomplice — devised a scam in which he collected money from 300 Asian families in order to pay for funerals when older relatives died. According to authorities, many of the families paid “fees” of $35 per month for years, but then never received benefits when their relative died. The advisor, who ultimately swindled families out of $200,000, faces felony embezzlement charges.

Two Texas advisors have been sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection with a $30-million Ponzi scheme built around life settlement sales. The two recruited local insurance agents to promote the offerings, who received more than $4 million in commissions even though they were not securities licensed. According to authorities, the duo approached active and retired state employees and teachers with an offering to invest in life settlements, using their state retirement funds. Claiming they had access to billions of dollars from the Federal Reserve to fund life policy purchases, they never purchased the policies. Instead, they devised a Ponzi scheme in which earlier investors generated returns for later investors.

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