Former Iowa Insurance Agent Sentenced 19 Years for Defrauding the Elderly

June 13, 2024

A former Iowa insurance agent and annuity salesman was sentenced to 19 years in prison for defrauding elderly individuals out of their retirement savings.

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced Zach Flaherty, age 47, of Clive, to 222 months for wire fraud and another six months for contempt, for a total of 228 months, or 19 years.

Flaherty pleaded guilty in November 2023 to wire fraud charges. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Iowa, Flaherty admitted to engaging in a scheme to defraud some of his insurance clients, specifically, that he intended to defraud some of his clients by making false statements to those clients to obtain financial benefits for himself to the detriment of his clients.

In one case, Flaherty told one of the victims that he would invest proceeds from the sale of her house on her behalf and for her benefit, even though Flaherty knew that his representations to the victim were false. As a result of Flaherty’s false representations, the victim wrote two checks, totaling $170,000, to a company Flaherty owned and/or operated. Flaherty used the proceeds of his fraudulent scheme to acquire various assets, including a boat and automobiles.

Prosecutors allege that victims wrote more than $1 million of checks to Flaherty that he deposited to himself, according to a report from KCCI News in Des Moines. Flaherty allegedly defrauded insurance companies of more than $650,000.

The Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case and were assisted by the Moines Police Department, Clive Police Department, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

Source: Southern District of Iowa

Topics Agencies Iowa

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