AMARILLO, TEXAS, WOMAN SENTENCED TO 70 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR DEFRAUDING INVESTORS OF APPROXIMATELY $600,000
Defendant’s Son Sentenced Last Month to 87 Months in Federal Prison for His Role
AMARILLO, Texas — Following her conviction at trial earlier this year on a majority of the federal felony offenses charged in a 27-count indictment against her and her son, Janice Edwina Demmitt, 60, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson to 70 months in federal prison. Her son, Timothy Fry, 33, who pleaded guilty prior to trial to one count of money laundering, is currently serving an 87-month federal prison sentence. Demmitt must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons by November 11, 2011. Both were ordered to pay, jointly and severally, nearly $600,000 in restitution. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
At trial, Demmitt was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, eight counts of wire fraud and 11 counts of money laundering.
“Ms. Demmitt’s greed robbed her clients, most of them in their golden years, of their hard-earned security,” said U.S. Attorney Saldaña. “In fact, she not only robbed these vulnerable clients of their savings, she robbed them of their dignity. This office will continue to make it a priority to protect those in need of our help.”
“The IRS Criminal Investigation Division is committed to lending its financial expertise to investigations of professionals who target vulnerable individuals’ money for the purpose of lining their personal piggy banks,” said Andrea D. Whelan, IRS Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Office. “Today’s sentence demonstrates the government’s determination to combat these greed-driven crimes.”
Between 2006 and 2009, Demmitt and her son ran an insurance agency in Amarillo, and as part of their business, as registered agents of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, they sold annuities to investors. The majority of their clients were elderly investors.
Fry and Demmitt represented to their clients that Allianz would match each investment they made, up to $100,000, and encouraged their investors to either cash-in or borrow against their existing Allianz annuities and use those proceeds to reinvest to take advantage of the “matching” funds. However, instead of reinvesting their funds as they told their clients they would do, Fry and Demmitt deposited the funds into their personal accounts. In fact, evidence presented showed that they tricked their investors with the promise of the matching investment money so that the clients would liquidate their legitimate investment accounts. Approximately $600,000 in client funds was transferred into Fry’s and Demmitt’s personal accounts.
The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christy Drake and Vicki Lamberson, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Amarillo, prosecuted the case.
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