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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Indictment Charges Former Insurance and Annuities Salesman With Establishing Fictional Companies To Defraud Elderly Investors

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – On May 17, 2016, a federal grand jury sitting in Chattanooga, Tenn., returned a seven-count indictment against John Allen Morris, Jr., 50, of Knoxville, Tenn., for wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud and wrongful use of a government seal. 

According to the indictment on file with U.S. District Court, beginning in 2006, Morris devised a scheme to defraud and obtain money by false pretenses.  He established two fictitious companies, Pillar Management Company (PMG) and Superior Life Insurance Company (Superior) and then contacted elderly investors by various means, including the telephone, to invest in annuities, bonds, and insurance products.  Morris convinced several investors to surrender legitimate annuities to invest in his companies.  He established bank accounts at different financial institutions in which he deposited this money received from investors.  Rather than investing the funds, Morris converted the money from investors for his own personal use, including paying personal bills and expenses for himself and his family, buying personal property for himself and others, and investment in personal ventures such as an automobile refurbishment and resale enterprise, and “Football Tech” – a business which claimed to stage football camps for high school football players and others.  Additionally, to perpetuate his scheme, Morris used some of the funds from investors to pay off others.

If convicted, Morris faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for the wire and mail fraud charges.  He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for bank fraud and a maximum of five years in prison for wrongful use of a government seal.  

If you believe that you have been a victim of Morris, please contact the local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office at 865-744-0751. 

Agencies conducting this investigation include the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Neff represents the government.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until his or her guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


Financial Fraud
Updated May 18, 2016