By Steven A. Morelli
The trial has been postponed a third time for a former insurance agent in California charged with 29 felonies for selling annuities and has been in jail since late February.
Alan S. Lewis is accused of “twisting” in the repeated sale of annuities to some of his clients. The prosecutor has said the $300,000 surrender charge that 12 clients incurred amounted to embezzlement and grand theft. He is also charged with burglary because he visited clients in their home.
Prosecutor Sheronda Edwards asked for a delay on June 23, the day the trial was scheduled, to June 26, exercising the prosecutor’s prerogative to delay for up to 10 days without having to show good cause. Then she asked for a delay to July 28, saying that she was still waiting for annuity contracts from three insurance companies.
The judge granted the extension and denied Lewis’ motion to dismiss. Lewis is still in jail in lieu of $600,000 bail.
In the first extension, Edwards asked for the trial to be postponed from June 9 to June 23 for two reasons: The prosecution’s expert witness, Vincent Patrick Gallagher, was in China until June 23. And Edwards was waiting for alleged victims’ annuity contracts subpeonaed from Allianz Life, Genworth Life, Lincoln National, Fidelity & Guaranty Life, American Equity, American General, North American, Athene and ING. The prosecutor also submitted eight audio CDs of interview of alleged victims.
Steven A. Morelli is editor-in-chief for InsuranceNewsNet. He has more than 25 years of experience as a reporter and editor for newspapers, magazines and insurance periodicals. He was also vice president of communications for an insurance agents’ association. Steve can be reached at [email protected].
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