One of several business executives implicated in an elaborate fraud scheme was charged late last week in Madison. The 67-year-old Mosinee, Wisconsin, man is the fourth defendant to face federal charges in the case; others have already been convicted and sentenced to prison.
The most recent person to be charged is accused of having a smaller role in the scheme than his fellow defendants. The case involved an insurance premium financing program at a central Wisconsin bank. According to federal prosecutors, two insurance company CEOs and the company's treasurer forged millions of dollars' worth of insurance premium financing notes in 2008 and sold them to a bank in Wausau.
A senior vice president at the bank was responsible for handling the premium financing notes that came from the insurance company. A note that came to the bank from the insurance company appeared to be legitimate but was actually forged by someone involved with the insurance fraud scheme. Prosecutors say that the vice president knew the note had been forged, but that he approved it anyway.
Investigators became suspicious of the insurance company in spring of 2009 after the bank bought the company's customer list. The charges came after FBI agents performed a raid and seized the insurance company's financial records.
The bank vice president's alleged approval of the forged note resulted in a charge of making a false statement to a financial institution, which carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Although he appears to be accused of having a much smaller role in the crime, the penalties are much greater than what the insurance executives faced. The longest sentence any of them risked was a maximum of 10 years in prison.
This defendant will need a highly experienced attorney and an aggressive defense strategy if he hopes to avoid the penalties he's facing. As is the case with many other fraud schemes involving multiple defendants, he has the potential to lose much more than the others who were charged.
Source: Wausau Daily Herald, "Fourth person charged in Manson Insurance fraud case," Dec. 14, 2012
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