Insurance Agent Sentenced for $3M Fraud Scheme
NORFOLK, Va. – A West Valley City, Utah, man was sentenced today to 5 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of an investment fraud scheme against mostly elderly victims.
According to court documents, Tony Scott Sellers, 62, was a licensed insurance salesman in Idaho. From about January 2011 through August 2017, Sellers, along with other conspirators, made material misrepresentations and omissions to sell illiquid, highly speculative investment vehicles that were sold and controlled by Daryl Bank, among others. Based on these fraudulent representations, unsuspecting investors cashed out of 401(k) and other retirement accounts to purchase the investments, without knowing that 20% to 70% of their funds would be skimmed off the top in the form of purported “fees.” In September 2021, Bank was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in a nationwide investment fraud scheme that resulted in over $25 million in losses to more than 300 victims, most of whom were elderly.
As a result of Seller’s part in this investment fraud scheme, victims suffered losses in excess of $3 million. Most of the victims were at or near retirement age when Sellers and his co-conspirators defrauded them.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Darrell J. Waldon, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); and Greg Torbenson, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.
Significant assistance in this case was provided by the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa O’Boyle, Andrew Bosse, and Elizabeth Yusi prosecuted the case.
Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice. Elder abuse is an intentional or negligent act by any person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult. It is a term used to describe five subtypes of elder abuse: physical abuse, financial fraud, scams and exploitation, caregiver neglect and abandonment, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse. Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, affecting at least 10 percent of older Americans every year. Together with our federal, state, local and tribal partners, the Department of Justice is steadfastly committed to combatting all forms of elder abuse and financial exploitation through enforcement actions, training and resources, research, victim services, and public awareness. This holistic and robust response demonstrates the Department’s unwavering dedication to fighting for justice for older Americans.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:19-cr-47.