On Oct. 27, Herbert Amos Jones, of Bethel Island, Calif., pled guilty in Contra Costa Superior Court to one felony count of grand theft. Jones, a former California-licensed insurance agent and regional vice president of Primerica Financial Services (PFS), was arrested as the result of an investigation by the California Department of Insurance’s Investigation Division (CDI).
Jones was sentenced to time served in county jail (44 days), two years felony probation, and ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to PFS, which had already reimbursed the victims for their losses.
Jones was arrested in Florida in September 2004 and extradited to California for prosecution by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.
CDI’s investigation disclosed that Jones, who surrendered his insurance license when he fled the Golden State, convinced a 69-year-old woman and her 38-year-old daughter to invest $25,000 with him. Jones diverted the mother-daughter funds, failed to secure valid proof of the investments, then submitted incomplete, falsified documents to the daughter in an effort to hide his crime. The investigation also revealed that the daughter’s U.S Postal Service pension plan was cleaned out, causing her additional tax penalties. PFS’ restitution to the victims included reimbursement of those penalties.
CDI is concerned that there may be other, unsuspecting victims who had business dealings with Jones. Consumers should call the CDI Hotline at (800) 927-HELP(4357) if they suspect they may have fallen prey to Jones’ scam.