Jan. 15–COLUMBIA, S.C. — An insurance coverage agent was sentenced to 2 years in federal jail Monday for his function within the ghoulish schemes of S.C. Irish Vacationers to make as much as $33 million off the deaths of aged or sick individuals.
Leonard New, 69, who offered insurance coverage within the North Augusta space, obtained a lighter sentence than federal prosecutors requested. That was as a result of he cooperated with FBI brokers after being confronted with proof of his crimes, was remorseful, is required by his household, is aged and is present process therapy for eye most cancers, mentioned U.S. District Court docket Choose Michelle Childs.
However Childs rejected a declare by protection lawyer August “Tav” Swarat that New had no prior document.
“When you have carried out years of fraud, that primarily is a previous document,” Childs informed Swarat and the courtroom viewers, which included a dozen of New’s members of the family and pals.
New, who pleaded responsible to racketeering conspiracy, might have confronted eight years and a month in jail.
His two-year sentence is lighter than the punishment given two different ex-insurance brokers who additionally offered fraudulent insurance coverage contracts to dozens of Vacationers. One was sentenced to 5 years in jail; the opposite to 27 months.
A number of thousand Vacationers stay within the Aiken County space, claiming to be the descendents of Irish immigrants. Many stay in an unincorporated space referred to as Murphy Village, their base for white-collar frauds and different crimes, in accordance with prosecutors.
New is one among about 50 defendants — Irish Vacationers and their associates — charged in a four-year federal investigation into white-collar fraud schemes that cheated life insurers, monetary companies, credit score companies, automobile dealerships, and the state and federal governments out of thousands and thousands of dollars.
Swarat informed Choose Childs that solely firms have been victimized, not people. “He’s not an individual like Bernie Madoff, who was taking peoples’ funds.”
New offered a whole bunch of fraudulent time period life insurance coverage insurance policies to Irish Vacationers through the years, Assistant U.S. Legal professional Jim Might informed the decide Monday.
“As soon as he confirmed them he would violate the legislation, they began approaching him and saved on approaching him,” Might informed Childs. “A whole bunch of those insurance policies violated the legislation.”
New and different insurance coverage brokers have been important to the fraud, Might mentioned, who requested the insurance coverage agent get a three-year sentence.
The life insurance coverage insurance policies have been fraudulent as a result of, on the request of Vacationers, New grossly inflated the online value and earnings of the particular person being insured, in accordance with proof within the case.. The worth of the life insurance coverage insurance policies was, largely, based mostly on the supposed wealth and earnings of the particular person being insured. When that particular person died, the insurance coverage firm would pay out a big sum, based mostly on these inflated sums, to the Vacationers who had satisfied New to falsify the insurance coverage contracts, in accordance with proof within the case.
New made cash by gathering the insurance coverage premiums due on the insurance coverage insurance policies. Varied Irish Vacationers would pay the premiums and revenue when the insured particular person died.
One coverage New wrote paid off $150,000; one other, paid off $250,000, Might mentioned. It was not attainable to get a complete on the payouts that insurers made as a result of numerous insurers had refinanced the insurance policies.
“I have been within the enterprise a very long time, and I knew what I used to be doing, and I used to be unsuitable,” New informed Choose Childs. “I come clean with every thing. … I simply stand earlier than you very sorry for my actions.”
Choose Childs has held dozens of hearings in regards to the Vacationers’ crimes. Nonetheless, she expressed amazement on the group’s frauds Monday.
Within the insurance coverage scams, Childs famous, the Vacationers grossly inflated claims of earnings and wealth to get huge insurance coverage payouts. In different frauds — to get meals stamps and authorities companies — members of the group would “deflate” their earnings, she famous.
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