June 21--DIKE -- A former Dike insurance agent has been ordered to repay commissions she received by submitting fake applications for policies.
Authorities said Melissa Ilene Williams, 46, was paid $175,147 worth of commissions by claiming she sold insurance policies when the people named on the policies were unaware of the applications. She also paid the initial premiums to avoid detection by the insurance companies.
Williams pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud in March in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, and on Thursday Judge Linda Reade sentenced her to three years and five months in prison. She will be on supervised release for three years following her prison time.
She remains free until she begins serving her sentence.
Reade ordered Williams to pay $139,137 to Funeral Directors Life Insurance Co. and $36,010 to National Guardian Life Insurance Co.
According to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, Williams had been licensed as an insurance producer since May 2007.
In November, the department scheduled a hearing after receiving complaints that Williams had made improper premium payments for policies on behalf of relatives and friends and made false statements on applications.
Williams didn't attend the hearing to challenge the allegations, and her license was revoked Nov. 25, five days before it was set to expire, according to department records. She was also ordered to pay a $1,000 civil penalty.
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