Texas agent nabbed in annuity scam

A Lubbock insurance agent was arrested on charges claiming he targeted elderly clients by keeping their money instead of purchasing annuities in their name

Insurance News


Law enforcement officials have arrested a Lubbock, Texas-area insurance agent they say was involved in an annuity scam targeting elderly clients.

The Texas Department of Insurance reported that Joseph Allen Gaines has been charged with defrauding customers by keeping their money, which was meant to be used toward the purchase of annuities. Instead, Gaines kept the money for himself and never turned anything over to insurance companies.

Gaines primarily targeted those who were 65 and older, and who were seeking investments for retirement.

Insurance regulators, as well as the Lubbock Police Department, were alerted to the crime when the family of a 94-year-old woman called an insurance company to confirm her $700,000 investment. The company informed them the investment did not exist.

“We believe that Mr. Gaines had been a financial advisor for this woman’s family for decades,” said Texas Department of Insurance Sergeant Steve Richardson. “He took advantage of her trust and encouraged her to invest in a fraudulent annuity.

“We hate to see something like this happen, but when it does we need to act quickly to minimize the damage.”

Investigators are searching for other potential victims and urge anyone who purchased annuities to call their insurance company in order to verify the policy and amounts promised.

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