A Tennessee insurance agent has been hit with a $187,000 penalty and had his license revoked for fraud – even though he’s already in federal prison.
John Oscar Wilson III, an insurance agent from Brentwood, Tenn., scammed clients and, in many cases, forged their signatures on insurance-related documents, according to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.
The fine and license revocation are only the latest actions taken against Wilson. In 2015, the department suspended his license because “the continuation of his license was found to be hazardous to the public welfare.” The following year, Wilson pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of wire fraud in connection with an insurance and investment scam. In 2017, he was sentenced to 52 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution after cheating his clients and insurance agencies out of more than $800,000. He is currently in federal prison in Kentucky.
“At first blush, these additional civil penalties and the license revocation might seem unnecessary, given Wilson’s guilty plea and his imprisonment, but, in fact, they are necessary steps to protect consumers and fully impose justice on behalf of Wilson’s victims, while sending a message that TDCI will not stand for such actions in our marketplace,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Michael Humphreys. “That said, and because the victims come first, these penalties will only be collected after Wilson makes good on his ordered restitution.”
Wilson was the owner and operator of Preserve Financial Group. He used a radio program, “The Retirement Solutions Show,” to attract retiree investors. Authorities said he defrauded his clients – many of whom were elderly – in at least three different ways. He advised clients to cash in tax-deferrable investments and purchase insurance products without disclosing the associated tax penalties. He also convinced some clients to surrender insurance policies or annuities to him for investment in another policy or annuity – but used the funds for himself. He also convinced some clients to surrender policies or annuities by telling them they were investing in stock in his company. Again, rather than investing, he kept the cash for himself.