Home > Boards > Free Zone > User's Groups > Green Money STOCK PICKS

Chief in $800M fraud gets 20 years prison

Public Reply | Private Reply | Keep | Last ReadPost New MsgNext 10 | Previous | Next
Green Money 00 Member Profile
Followed By 430
Posts 32,038
Boards Moderated 4
Alias Born 04/04/06
160x600 placeholder
Volvo Trucks Gets EPA Award to Deploy Zero-Emission Trucks
Volvo Trucks North America said it received a $21.7 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other parties to deploy electric trucks in Southern California.
U.S. Stocks Waver on Stimulus Talks
U.S. Stocks Waver on Stimulus Talks, China's Growth
Bank of Canada Survey Find Business Sentiment Has Improved Over Summer, Outlook Uncertain
Verizon Buying Assets of Bluegrass Cellular in Kentucky
ConocoPhillips to Buy Shale Rival Concho for $9.7 Billion -- 3rd Update
China Adds New Export Restrictions in Latest Trade-Dispute Move -- Update
Bank of Canada Survey Find Business Sentiment Has Improved, Outlook Uncertain
Athene, MassMutual End $3 Billion Bid to Buy American Equity
AbbVie Seeks U.S., European OK of Rinvoq in Eczema
U.S. Home-Builder Confidence Continues to Rise in October to a New High
Form 8.3 -Willis Towers Watson Plc.
Holiday Crunch Starts Early With More Packages Than Means to Deliver Them
Correction to Holiday Package Delivery Article
Stock Futures Rise on Stimulus Talks, China's Growth
Where Trump and Biden Stand on International Accords and Alliances
Euro Optimism Wanes Amid Rising Covid-19 Cases
Top Company News of the Day
Eli Lilly: Health Canada Approves Taltz for Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis
ConocoPhillips to Buy Shale Rival Concho for $9.7 Billion -- 2nd Update
China Adds New Export Restrictions in Latest Trade-Dispute Move
CVS to Hire 15,000 Employees in the U.S. in 4Q
Naturgy Wins Bunkering LNG Contract in Spain
Alibaba Takes on Walmart in China With $3.6 Billion Investment in Hypermarket Chain
ConocoPhillips to Buy Concho Resources in $9.7 Billion All-Stock Transaction
Green Money 00   Saturday, 08/30/14 10:05:57 AM
Re: None
Post # of 8449 

Chief in $800M fraud gets 20 years prison
Associated Press
By CURT ANDERSON 19 hours ago

MIAMI (AP) — The man who masterminded an $800 million insurance scam that fleeced tens of thousands of investors in one of Florida's all-time largest fraud schemes was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Robert Scola gave Joel Steinger, 64, credit for pleading guilty to avoid a lengthy and costly trial and said Steinger's multiple medical problems — he appeared in court in a wheelchair, with an oxygen tank — argued against the maximum 50-year sentence sought by prosecutors.

But Scola said Steinger still deserved a lengthy prison term because, as chief executive of now-defunct Mutual Benefits Corp., he orchestrated a fraud scheme that victimized more than 30,000 investors in all 50 states and numerous foreign countries between 1994 and 2004.

"My understanding is that most of the time, on the major decisions, it was you making the decisions," Scola said. "It's clear that you were the mastermind of the criminal enterprise."

The company, first investigated in 2003 by the state Office of Insurance Regulation, bought life insurance policies from people with AIDS, cancer and other chronic illnesses and sold them to investors. The policyholder would get paid an upfront, discounted amount and the investor was promised a larger insurance payout when the person died.

The company promised safety and sky-high returns. But Steinger and others involved in the scam admitted that life expectancy numbers were cooked, the company's financial strength was falsified and eventually older investors were being paid with money from newer ones in classic Ponzi scheme fashion. Mutual Benefits was shut down by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2004.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Rochlin argued for the longest possible sentence, comparing Steinger to convicted Ponzi schemers Bernard Madoff and Scott Rothstein, the former South Florida attorney who is serving a 50-year sentence for running a $1.2 billion scam involving investments in fake legal settlements.

"There should be no others like him ever again," Rochlin said of Steinger.

From his wheelchair, Steinger delivered a rambling 40-minute monologue repeating his many health issues and apologizing for hurting investors and his own employees.

"It eats my guts out that this turned into a criminal enterprise, that people got hurt," he said. "Nobody intended this to end up the way it did, least of all me."

Steinger is the last of 13 defendants convicted in the case, including his brother Steven Steiner who is serving 15 years behind bars. The brothers spell their last names differently.

Part of Friday's hearing concerned Steinger's 2007 assistance to the FBI in an offshoot case involving Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, a Fort Lauderdale eye doctor who was seeking campaign contributions to wield influence among state leaders in Tallahassee. Steinger wore a recording device in conversations in which Mendelsohn falsely claimed he had enough clout to make criminal investigations into Steinger's business disappear.

Mendelsohn eventually pleaded guilty in a federal corruption case and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Steinger got little credit in his own sentencing for his cooperation because, as Rochlin put it, he only turned to the FBI about Mendelsohn when investigators were closing in on his own fraud scheme and he didn't help them uncover the truth behind Mutual Benefits.

"It was too little, too late," she said.


Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt

Public Reply | Private Reply | Keep | Last ReadPost New MsgNext 10 | Previous | Next
Follow Board Follow Board Keyboard Shortcuts Report TOS Violation
Current Price
Detailed Quote - Discussion Board
Intraday Chart
+/- to Watchlist
Consent Preferences