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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wentzville Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

St. Louis, MO – JAMES STALEY pled guilty to charges involving his scheme to defraud investors by making false promises of high rates of return and minimal risk.  With his plea, Staley admitted to defrauding sixteen investors/lenders by causing them to invest over $3.3 million, giving him commissions totaling over $570,000.

According to court documents, in 2007, James Staley operated Wealth Financial International.  That same year, he became a sales agent for a Premium Financing Company located in California known as B & B Equity.  As a sales agent, Staley found individuals to provide loans for life insurance policies.  In many instances, several of these investor/lender’s funds were bundled together to provide financing to purchase one life insurance policy.  Staley received a commission for each investor/lender that he found to contribute financing for the purchasing of the life insurance policies. B & B required the lender/investor to invest in the insurance policy for a fixed period of time, varying from 18 months to two years.  During this period of time, Staley represented to clients of Wealth Financial that B & B Premium Financing Company would sell the bundled insurance policies on the open market with guaranteed returns. However, Staley was well aware that if B & B was unable to secure a buyer for the bundled insurance policies that his clients would lose all their monies invested in the Premium Financing product sold by B & B.

Staley, Wentzville, MO, pled guilty to four felony counts of wire fraud before United States District Judge E. Richard Webber.  Sentencing has been set for July 29, 2015.

Wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.  In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Dianna Collins is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Updated May 7, 2015