Insurance Company Executives Enter Guilty Plea In $40 Million Ponzi Scheme

Holcomb Brothers

By Insurance Business

Four people have pleaded guilty to a $40 million Ponzi scheme in which they duped people into investing in their insurance businesses.

Michael Holcomb, Gary Holcomb, Jennifer L. Chalmers and Kristen S. Van Breeman all pleaded guilty in federal court to operating a Ponzi scheme in Oregon. The Holcombs also pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and to one count of money laundering. Chalmers and Van Breeman each pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering.

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Prosecutors say that between 2008 and 2012, the four solicited people to invest in their insurance businesses, Berjac of Oregon and Berjac of Portland. They promised investors that their money would earn a high rate of return, according to local CBS affiliate KOIN 6.

“Rather than invest the money as promised … (they) diverted the money for personal use, speculative real estate projects, and to make interest and other payments to earlier investors,” prosecutors said.

More than 400 investors lost a total of more than $40 million, according to KOIN 6. Read More

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