Parkersburg insurance agent sentenced for bilking clients of ret - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Parkersburg insurance agent sentenced for bilking clients of retirement savings

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Lloyd B. Carr, 55, an independent insurance agent from Parkersburg, has been sentenced to six years plus three months in federal prison for converting client funds to his own personal use.

Carr was employed as an outside agent for various life insurance companies from early 2007 until at least July 2010, including Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said that beginning in 2008, Carr began taking checks provided by clients intended to purchase annuity contracts and life insurance policies from Allianz and other companies and instead deposited them into his own accounts and spending the client funds on personal items.

Alliance terminated its agency relationship with Carr in October 2008 after receiving complaints of unaccounted for funds from consumers. In 2009, Goodwin said Carr filed a “trade name” application with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office to operate as “Lloyd B. Carr doing business as American Life Insurance & Annuities Group,” but American Life is not an actual business entity or licensed insurance company, had no employees or place of business other than sales that Carr conducted out of his home.

Goodwin said American Life was a “doing business as” name that Carr used to conduct a fraudulent business. Carr, however, opened an account in that name and “began convincing existing Allianz clients to roll over legitimate retirement accounts into his bogus company.” Once Carr deposited the client check, Goodwin said he began siphoning off those funds by making frequent ATM cash withdrawals and cashing a series of $5,000 checks.

He said in 2010 Carr convinced a client to cancel an Allianz policy and provide him with the settlement check. The individual gave him the endorsed $55,270.96 check with the understanding that the full amount would be used to pay an annuity premium with American Life, which Carr had led him to believe was an actual and legitimate life insurance company. Carr, however, deposited the check into the American Life account he'd opened and converted a portion of the money for his own personal use by cashing checks made payable to “cash” or withdrawing cash from ATMs located in and around Parkersburg. When the man pressed Carr for a copy of the policy he'd supposedly purchased, Goodwin said Carr substituted a $25,000 policy from the Presidential Life Insurance Company, with the and retained the remaining $30,270 for his own use.

Carr also created a purported Roth IRA account through American Life showing the balance of the funds safely invested with American Life.

“As Carr knew, American Life was not capitalized as an insurance or investment company, and it was not authorized to issue any type of insurance policy, security, investment, individual retirement account, or annuity contract,” Goodwin said. “Carr had already converted a portion of (the) funds for his own use prior to issuing the fraudulent American Life Roth IRA contract, but did so in order to convince (him) that the balance of (his) investment monies was safe and secure.”

Goodwin said Carr admitted to fleecing 12 clients out of $589,000 in retirement savings.

In sentencing Carr, U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston noted Carr had “brought many of his clients, who trusted him, to financial ruin.”

West Virginia Insurance Commission investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Ryan prosecuted.