Iowa Agent Gets 41 Months in Prison for Defrauding Insurance Companies

July 15, 2014

A former Des Moines, Iowa, insurance agent was sentenced to 41 months in prison for insurance fraud, the Iowa Insurance Division announced.

Melissa Ilene Williams, of Dike, Iowa, also was ordered to pay restitution for fabricating and submitting life insurance policies to two separate insurance companies between July 2011 and January of 2012. Williams pled guilty to one count of mail fraud on March 3, 2014.

Iowa Insurance Division revoked Williams’ insurance producer’s license in November of 2013.

Williams was ordered in federal court to pay full restitution in the amount of $139,137.13 to Funeral Directors Life Insurance Co., a Texas based insurer and $36,010.19 to National Guardian Life Insurance Co. in Madison, Wis.

Upon her release, Williams will also be supervised by authorities for an additional three years.

The insurance division said the investigation found that during 2011 and 2012, Williams forged the signatures of people she knew on bogus life insurance policies and collected $170,292 in fraudulently obtained commissions from Funeral Directors Life Insurance Co. and National Guardian Life Insurance Co.

Williams was under contract with both companies to sell preneed insurance policies to Iowa consumers.

She intentionally utilized her friends’ and families’ identifications without their authorization to fabricate preneed life insurance policy applications for the purpose of collecting advance commission payments as a result of the sales of such policies, according to the IID. She paid the initial premiums on the policies issued to these Iowa consumers, and diverted and redirected the insurance company correspondence back to herself.

Williams was sentenced on June 19, 2014, in United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa in a prosecution filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa. The prosecution was the result of a collaborative effort of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Iowa Insurance Fraud Bureau.

Source: Iowa Insurance Division

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Latest Comments

  • July 16, 2014 at 11:32 am
    KNOWALL says:
    I remember one case, before all the computers and internet, where an agent went to a cemetery and used names from the headstones to write life policies. Somewhat clever, but t... read more
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