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Press Release

Boston Man Sentenced for Life Insurance Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Boston man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for a scheme to defraud numerous life insurance companies. 

Kellerman Jason Zheng, 33, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Zheng was also ordered to pay $49,084. In February 2020, Zheng pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud.

Between December 2016 and March 2018, Zheng took out at least 24 life insurance policies in his brother’s name. These policies, which carried total coverage limits in excess of $11.5 million, listed Zheng and his parents as the beneficiaries. Zheng’s brother however, had died months earlier during a visit to China in April 2015. As part of the scheme, Zheng also took steps to make it appear as though his brother was still alive by opening and using bank accounts in his brother’s name and renewing his brother’s Massachusetts driver’s license.

Later, Zheng obtained a false Chinese death certificate for his brother indicating that his brother had died in August 2018, and used it to submit over $5 million in life insurance claims. Zheng admitted that his brother died prior to the inception of the insurance policies during meetings with an undercover agent who was posing as a claims manager willing to assist in the fraud scheme.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Iowa Insurance Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordi de Llano, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit, prosecuted the case.

Updated October 6, 2020

Financial Fraud