Insurance coverage agent handed five-year jail sentence

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A West Valley City, UT insurance agent has been sentenced to five years in prison for conspiracy to wire fraud after he was found guilty of organizing an investment fraud scheme that targeted elderly customers.

Tony Scott Sellers, 62, was an insurance salesman licensed to do business in Idaho. According to court documents, the vendors — along with other co-conspirators — made material misrepresentations and omissions in selling “illiquid, highly speculative investment vehicles” from January 2011 to August 2017. These investment vehicles were sold and controlled by currently suspended investment adviser Daryl Bank, among others.

Prosecutors said the fraudulent misrepresentations caused the unsuspecting investors to pay out 401(k) and other retirement accounts to buy the investments. But little did the victims know that between 20% and 70% of their funds would be pocketed by the bank and the other conspirators in the form of “fees.”

Bank was sentenced to 35 years in prison in September 2021 for his role in a nationwide investment fraud scheme that resulted in more than $25 million in losses for more than 300 victims – most of whom are elderly.

A press release from the US Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of Virginia said the victims suffered losses of over $3 million as a result of Sellers’ involvement in the scheme.

“Tackling elder abuse and financial fraud targeting senior citizens is a key priority of the Department of Justice,” the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a statement.

“Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, affecting at least 10% of older Americans each year,” the statement continued. “Together with our federal, state, local and tribal partners, the Department of Justice is steadfast in its commitment to address all forms of elder abuse and financial exploitation through enforcement efforts, training and resources, research, victim services and public awareness.”