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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 14, 2022

Virginia Beach Man Sentenced for Life Insurance Fraud Scheme

NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach man was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for defrauding life insurance companies.

According to court documents, in 2018, Michael Leonard Morgan-Towe, 37, and Antionette D. Pringle, 33, also of Virginia Beach, obtained approximately $150,000 in fraudulent advance commissions from life insurance companies. Morgan-Towe recruited indigent individuals, falsely promising them months of “free” life insurance if they would provide their personal identifying information. Then, Pringle, a licensed insurance agent in Virginia, used this information to submit applications for life insurance, falsifying their income to make it appear as if they could pay the monthly premiums, when she knew they could not. In some instances, she misstated their health conditions as to ensure their application would be approved.

The life insurance companies sent Pringle thousands of dollars in advance commissions as soon as the applications were approved, which she shared with Morgan-Towe. However, almost all of the policies lapsed immediately because no premiums were paid, as the individual beneficiaries thought they were obtaining free life insurance. 

In December 2020, Pringle was sentenced to 4 years in prison for her role in the scheme. 

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission provided significant assistance with this investigation. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Gantt prosecuted the case.

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. 2:21-cr-22.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov
Updated January 14, 2022