A former Michigan life insurance agent will be taking an extended vacation behind bars for stealing $800,000 from his senior clients. According to state authorities, Paul Garceau, Jr., 51, of Grosse Point Park, pleaded guilty to perpetrating a Ponzi scheme against his mostly elderly customers. For his role embezzling money from a dozen Detroit-area clients, he was sentenced to a minimum of six years jail time and ordered to pay more than $600,000 in restitution.  A single complaint of embezzlement and forgery in October 2014 sparked a Michigan State Police investigation that uncovered a larger pattern of crime. Following the Ponzi template, Garceau approached his clients with promises of higher returns. After convincing them to cash out their legitimate investments, he pocketed the proceeds rather than invested them as promised.

A former University of Virginia athlete graduated from defending against opposing teams’ ground games to perpetrating a Ponzi scheme that won him a 40 year-prison term. According to federal prosecutors, Merrill Robertson, Jr., a former college linebacker, defrauded more than 60 investors to the tune of $10 million. His victims included his former coaches, fellow college alumni, and people he knew at his church and in his community. His scam took shape in the spring of 2016, when he began telling investors he could provide them with returns of between 10 to 20 percent in low-risk unregistered debt securities. He backed up his claims by publishing a website that displayed sham investments. He also convinced them to buy shares in a fake public energy company that purported to own technology that energized water and in a minority-owned investment firm that didn’t exist. After amassing $10 million in investor funds, Robertson and his co-conspirator Carl Vaughn, spent $6 million on expensive cars, residences, college tuition, shopping extravaganzas, and spa treatments. When earlier investors requested their money back, he used new-client money to cover the redemptions.

A former Pennsylvania life insurance agent was arrested for submitting 29 fraudulent life applications to three insurance companies. As a result of his crimes, Keynan Kinard received approximately $8,000 in commissions. After receiving insurer complaints, the Pennsylvania Criminal Law Division pulled Kinard’s license and referred the matter to Pennsylvania’s Criminal Law Division. According to its complaint, the agent used the personal information of friends, acquaintances, and former clients to produce applications he then sent to life insurers. He also included phony bank account information on the applications to make sure the policies would not be issued or would lapse when premium-payments failed to go through. Kinard was charged with one count each of identity theft, theft by deception, criminal solicitation, insurance fraud, and forgery.