More than $300,000 Alleged Stolen from Investors in Ind.

August 1, 2006

More criminal charges are pending against a former insurance agent who prosecutors say could have stolen more than $300,000 from investors.

The felony charges of theft in Huntington County against Larry E. Walkup, 57, of Columbia City, allege he cheated two residents of the United Methodist Memorial Home in Warren out of more than $25,000 they had paid for annuities.

Walkup has pleaded not guilty and has been jailed in neighboring Whitley County, awaiting trial on six other theft charges.

Two residents of the Methodist home in Warren, about 30 miles south of Fort Wayne, told investigators they had given Walkup money but later found out it had not been invested.

One of the residents, Madge Ellerman, told police that Walkup had been her insurance agent for over 10 years and she trusted him before noticing that she wasn’t receiving interest checks she expected each month.

“He stole my annuity and the book that went with it … and changed the ownership to himself,” Ellerman said.

The six theft charges Walkup faces in Whitley County all involve money prosecutors say he stole in financial transactions, including annuities and reverse mortgages. Whitley County Prosecutor Matt Rentschler has said that more than $300,000 was stolen in those cases.

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