Insurance agents face potential $6.3 million bill

Two insurance agents based in the Sarasota-Bradenton area of Florida have been indicted for their roles in an alleged $6.3 million fraud scheme which targeted seniors to liquidate traditional investments and invest with their company.

The federal indictment, unsealed June 26, accuses Phillip Roy Wasserman, 63, and Kenneth Murry Rossman, 62, of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, as well as substantive counts of wire fraud and mail fraud.

According to the US Attorneys’ office, the government is seeking a money judgment of at least $6.3 million from the defendants.

Authorities accuse Wasserman of spending a considerable amount of his victims’ investment money to finance his luxury lifestyle. Alleged luxury expenses include lavish residences, high-end vehicles, jet skis, jewelry, entertainment, gambling, retail shopping, home improvements, personal insurance and more.

The indictment alleges that both Wasserman and Rossman made false and fraudulent misrepresentations and concealed material information, to mislead elderly investors into investing in Wasserman’s new insurance venture, “FastLife”.

Court records state that the misrepresentations took place between August 16 and the date of the indictment.

“Some victims were persuaded to liquidate traditional investments, such as annuities, and/or to borrow funds against existing life insurance policies to generate cash to invest in the venture,” the indictment stated. “These victims were not told about surrender fees and other costs associated with the liquidations and, Rossman prepared income tax returns for victim-investors in a manner designed to conceal negative personal tax consequences that resulted from the liquidations from both the victim-investors and the Internal Revenue Service.”

For his role in the fraud scheme, Rossman was allegedly paid a percentage of the pocketed cash by Wasserman. To keep up the illusion that victims were getting their investment back, Wasserman also allegedly paid earlier investors in the FastLife venture, as well as investors in his earlier hedge fund and real estate fund ventures, Business Observer reported.

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