Bill Turner, a New Mexico insurance broker, pleaded guilty last week to thirteen counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in a plea bargain. He had originally been charged with 211 counts related to a scam to defraud an investor.
Turner defrauded Johnny Cleveland, his financier, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2011 by selling false insurance policies through the Turner Insurance Agency. Turner solicited investments from Cleveland asking him to finance the policies instead of Turner getting financing from the bank. Cleveland purchased 69 contracts from Turner, and Turner repaid the first eleven in full. However, the scheme was uncovered when Turner could not manage to pay his monthly obligation to Cleveland. According to Cleveland, Turner then had employees falsify documents as Cleveland began to catch on to the scheme.
Under the plea bargain, Turner will pay full restitution to Cleveland, which will be about $215,000. Additionally, Turner is looking at potentially twenty years in prison if he makes full restitution. If he does not, he is facing no less than five and no more than thirty years.
Turner’s scheme is closely related to a Ponzi scheme, in which an operator uses money from new investors to pay back original investors. Here though, Turner kept preying on the same person.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies.