Saturday, November 1, 2008

Unsuspecting Elders No Match for Unscrupulous Insurance Salespeople


Attorney General Tom Corbett has announced that agents from the Attorney General's Elder Abuse Unit and Insurance Fraud Section have filed criminal charges against a Lebanon County insurance agent accused of stealing more than $80,000 from older consumers across Central Pennsylvania by selling them fictitious investments. Corbett identified the defendant as Scott Michael Powell, 49, 36 North Grant St., Palmyra.

Powell allegedly conducted business as SMP financial Services, of Palmyra. Corbett said that Powell allegedly targeted older consumers, including seniors that he contacted while presenting an insurance and investment program at a retirement community in Lancaster County. Powell allegedly sold bogus "Certificates of Deposit" (CD's) and non-existent mutual fund investments to at least 11 different victims from Lancaster, Lebanon, Hershey, Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg and other Central Pennsylvania communities - including a 97-year old woman from Lancaster who believed she has "invested" $24,000 with Powell.

"This scheme targeted seniors across central Pennsylvania, selling thousands of dollars worth of fictitious investments to a list of unsuspecting victims in their seventies, eighties and nineties," Corbett said. "These victims trusted Mr. Powell with their money and their financial futures, only to learn that these 'investments' were allegedly part of an elaborate plot to steal clients' money for personal use."

Corbett noted that cases of elder financial abuse, of other forms of fraud targeted at senior citizens, can be reported by calling the Attorney General's toll-free Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-866-623-2137.


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