|Targeted News Service|
"These defendants were brought to justice and will serve hard time for defrauding vulnerable senior citizens. We will continue to aggressively investigate and build cases like this to deter the victimization of elderly New Yorkers," said DFS Superintendent
The investigation that led to the arrest of Gibbons and Will began when a funeral director notified authorities because he was suspicious of their request for a death certificate. The death certificate was for an individual who turned out to be one of Gibbons' clients. They wanted the certificate so they could file a claim for the proceeds of an annuity to which Will had been named as beneficiary.
DFS investigators learned that the two had fraudulently received approximately
The two admitted that Gibbons sold annuities to elderly clients and then changed beneficiary information so that Will received payouts when clients died. The two then split the proceeds.
The victims lived in the
DFS investigators also learned that Gibbons and Will potentially could have received approximately
Gibbons provided financial advice to consumers while employed at a
As an investment advisor, Gibbons encouraged elderly customers to take money from their investments and buy annuities. Gibbons earned commissions on the sales and then named Will as a beneficiary without the knowledge of annuitants.
The insurers underwriting the annuities removed Will as a beneficiary on the outstanding annuities after the investigation was begun.
Gibbons pleaded guilty to one count of first degree scheme to defraud and three counts of attempted grand larceny; Will pleaded guilty to one county of first degree scheme to defraud. All of the charges are felonies.
Both Gibbons and Will had been licensed as insurance agents by the Department. Gibbons' license was revoked in December; Will's license expired in 1997.
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