Antioch Man Sentenced In Insurance Fraud Scheme
Former Owner and Operator of Preserve Financial Group admits to defrauding victims, including the elderly and thos in poor physical or mental health, out of more than $800,000
John O. Wilson, 54, of Antioch, Tenn., was sentenced today to 52 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for defrauding his clients and insurance agencies out of more than $800,000, announced Jack Smith, Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Wilson was also ordered to pay $841,000 in restitution.
Wilson pleaded guilty in August 2016 to two counts of wire fraud in connection with his nearly decade-long scheme to defraud and obtain money from his clients and various insurance agencies by making false representations and using interstate wires to further his scheme. From at least as early as November 2005 until approximately August 2014, Wilson, a licensed insurance producer in Tennessee, was the owner and operator of an insurance agency known as Preserve Financial Group, Inc. (“PFG”) located in the Metropolitan Nashville area. Wilson admitted to conducting his fraud scheme in at least three ways:
First, in order to obtain increased commissions, Wilson would advise clients to remove their money from their existing tax-deferrable investments and purchase multiple insurance policies. In doing so, Wilson would not disclose to his clients the consequences of the repeated investments, including adverse tax consequences and substantial surrender charges.
Second, Wilson would convince some clients to surrender insurance policies or annuities to him for investment in another insurance policy or annuity. Instead of investing the money as promised, Wilson would cause these funds to be deposited into the PFG bank account he controlled, and he would then use the funds primarily for his own benefit.
Finally, Wilson would convince some clients to surrender insurance policies or annuities by deceiving clients into believing they were investing in PFG by purchasing stock in the company. In truth, there was no such stock and, instead, the money was deposited into the PFG account, which was then used primarily for Wilson’s own personal benefit.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas J. Jaworski.