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March 1, 2012

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

Maynardville Resident Sentenced In Counterfeit Securities And Money Laundering

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Joan Black, 66, of Maynardville, Tenn., was sentenced on February 29, 2012, in U.S. District Court at Knoxville, by the Honorable Thomas W. Phillips, U.S. District Judge, to serve 30 months in prison and pay $580,139.08 in restitution. Black pled guilty on September 7, 2011, to one count of possession of counterfeit securities and one count of money laundering.

According to the plea agreement on file with the U.S. District Court, Black admitted that as early as October 2007, she began soliciting investors to purchase annuities through her company, Benefit Capital, Inc. Black told investors that the annuities were issued by an insurance company in Galveston, Tex., and were guaranteed to pay an annual interest rate of 10 percent. However, she admitted that the annuities she was marketing were bogus and not issued by the insurance company. Black went to a printing company in Knoxville and had fictitious annuity portfolios bearing the name and corporate logo of the Galveston insurance company printed without their knowledge to further the investment scheme.

Black also admitted that from October 2007 though at least December 2008, she was paid approximately $673,500 by five different investors. Instead of investing those funds, she deposited them into a bank account she controlled and converted the funds for her own personal use.

This investigation was conducted by U.S. Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Dale represented the United States.

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