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Men Headed to Prison After Targeting Senior Citizens In $20 Million Scam

Men Headed to Prison After Targeting Senior Citizens In $20 Million Scam

Two men from Arizona and California, respectively, are headed to prison after conducting a dental franchise investment scam involving wire fraud and money laundering.

The IRS Criminal Investigation division investigated the case. In an official release, the agency noted that from 2011 through 2017, David Alcorn of Scottsdale, AZ, and Aghee William Smith II, from Roseville, CA, operated their scheme out of Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, and Hampton Roads, Virginia. 

The duo worked with numerous co-conspirators — including Arizona-based couple Kent Maerki and Norma Jean Coffin, Daryl Bank of Florida, insurance salesman Tony Sellers, from Idaho, insurance salesman Tom Barnett working out of California,  attorney Billy Seabolt who practices in Williamsburg, VA, Raeann Gibson of Florida,  and Roger Hudspeth, from Suffolk, VA – and the group took advantage of hundreds of unsuspecting investors, the majority of whom were senior citizens at or near retirement age. 

The IRS specifically noted:

Smith began selling these fraudulent investments in 2011 for Alcorn, Maerki, and Bank. The conspirators used material misrepresentations to sell illiquid, highly speculative investments that were then used as vehicles for fraud. Trusting the conspirators' fraudulent misrepresentations, unsuspecting investors cashed out of 401(k) and other retirement accounts to invest without knowing that Alcorn, Bank, and Maerki were immediately transferring 20%–70% of the funds to other companies they controlled in the form of purported "fees." As a result of this investment fraud scheme, the victims suffered losses in excess of $20 million.

Per the IRS, following trial, Bank was convicted of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, selling unregistered securities, and money laundering. He was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison in September 2021. Maerki pleaded guilty to conspiracy and went to prison for 16 years in March 2021. Seabolt went to trial in September 2021. and was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy and mail fraud.

Gibson pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced in to 10 years in prison in September 2020. In May 2018, Hudspeth pleaded guilty to investment advisor fraud and money laundering and is serving 12 years in prison. Sellers pleaded guilty to conspiracy in January 2022 and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Coffin pleaded guilty to conspiracy is serving 5 years in prison following his April 2022 sentencing. Barnett will be sentenced later in September 2022.

Following their August 30, 2022 sentencing, Alcorn will serve 15 years, 5 months in a federal penitentiary, while Smith will serve 13 years.

The IRS stated that this case was of the utmost importance because "combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice."

What do you think about this case?

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Rebekah Barton

Rebekah Barton

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