A former Mississippi insurance agent will serve 10 years in prison for embezzling $117,863.74 from a customer and converting the money for his own use, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced in January.
Charles Myrick Winstead, 54, an insurance agent from Terry, pleaded guilty Jan. 29 to one count of embezzlement. Madison County Circuit Court Judge William E. Chapman III sentenced him to 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with 10 years to serve and 10 suspended.
While employed as an insurance agent, Winstead advised one of his customers to cash in an insurance policy with a face value of $117,863.74 and then purchase a different policy. The customer took his advice by cashing the policy and turning the funds over to him. Winstead deposited the money into his own personal bank account and spent the money instead of submitting it to Nationwide Insurance Co.
Upon learning of Winstead’s actions, Nationwide reimbursed the customer $121,811.56, which represented the principal and interest.
Upon his release, Winstead will be placed on supervised probation for five years. He must also pay $121,811.56 in restitution to Nationwide Insurance Co. as well as court costs.
“While there is no sentence that would truly rectify the dishonest guidance this agent provided to his customer, I am satisfied knowing we have one more con artist behind bars and appreciate the sentence handed down by Judge Chapman,” said Hood.
This case was investigated by Jerry Spell and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Steven Waldrup of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.