Informed consumers can be a powerful antidote to bad news about advisors who do wrong by their clients.
By Robert Dixon
Two Minneapolis women, described as “longtime friends,” and each with checkered financial histories, have been sentenced to prison in relation to a life insurance scam in which they stole more than $1.6 million from ING, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
Angela P. Madison, 42, was sentenced in federal court in St. Paul, Minn., to 35 months in prison for aiding and abetting mail fraud from ING, her former employer. Tracy D. Jackson, also 42, was sentenced to a prison term of 27 months on the same counts, according to the report. Madison was ordered to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution to ING, while Jackson was ordered to pay more than $1.1 million.
The women pleaded guilty last summer to the nearly nine-year-long scheme. Madison, who worked in ING’s Minneapolis office as a policy plan coordinator, initiated the fraud in 2003 against the international insurance and investment firm where she worked. She reportedly recruited Jackson into it in 2008.
Madison admitted to stealing about $1.1 million while handling requests from clients. She used the company’s computer system to generate false statements in the names of various people, including Jackson, according to court documents. Jackson, who did not work for ING, cashed the checks and split the proceeds with Madison, the documents claim. The women created nearly 200 fraudulent checks drawn on ING accounts.
Federal bankruptcy records indicate that Madison filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in 2003, the same year she began to defraud the insurance firm. Jackson filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1997 and for Chapter 13 protection the following year, court records show.
In arguing for a “substantial reduction” from federal guidelines that called for a term of 41 to 51 months, a defense filing claimed that Madison “alerted her employer several times” about the flaw in ING’s accounting system that enabled her to steal the money, which she claimed to have used for family members with financial difficulties and to support herself and her husband, who lost his job in 2003, the year the scam began.
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