Former Sarasota Insurance Agent and Lawyer Sentenced to 15 Years for Defrauding Elderly Investors

Phillip Roy Wasserman, a former insurance agent and lawyer from Sarasota, Florida, has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for orchestrating a fraudulent scheme that targeted elderly individuals. The U.S. Department of Justice announced the sentencing on Thursday, highlighting the severity of Wasserman’s crimes.

Wasserman, 67, was found guilty in May of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. He later pleaded guilty in October to tax evasion, further cementing his role in this elaborate deception. As part of his punishment, Wasserman will also be required to forfeit over $6.3 million, the ill-gotten gains from his fraudulent activities.

The scheme involved Wasserman persuading vulnerable victims to invest in his new insurance venture, promising them riches and security. To fund these investments, he convinced his victims to liquidate their traditional investments or borrow against their existing life insurance policies. However, Wasserman conveniently omitted crucial information about surrender fees and other charges that would arise from these transactions.

To maintain the illusion of legitimacy, Wasserman used a portion of the funds obtained from new victims to make payments to earlier ones. This tactic allowed him to perpetuate the scheme and continue preying on unsuspecting individuals. Meanwhile, he indulged in a lavish lifestyle, using leftover funds to finance a beach house on Casey Key, purchase Tampa Bay Lightning season and playoff tickets, attend concerts, acquire vehicles and jet skis, indulge in jewelry, enjoy personal celebrity entertainment, gamble, shop, improve his home, and cover personal insurance expenses, among other luxuries.

The extent of Wasserman’s deceit became even more apparent when evidence revealed that he actively evaded paying over $900,000 in taxes. He went to great lengths to conceal his financial misdeeds, including instructing a witness to lie to investigators and attempting to dissuade victims from cooperating with law enforcement.

Special Agent in Charge with IRS-Criminal Investigation, Brian Payne, expressed his disdain for Wasserman’s actions, stating, “With false promises of riches and security, Mr. Wasserman exploited the most vulnerable in our society. Investment schemes that target the elderly are especially heinous and will not be tolerated by the justice system.”

Wasserman, who had dubbed himself the “Annuity King,” now faces the consequences of his crimes. His fraudulent activities have earned him the title of “Convicted Felon,” a stark reminder of the harm he inflicted on innocent individuals.

As the legal proceedings conclude, it serves as a reminder to remain vigilant against those who seek to exploit the elderly and vulnerable. The justice system’s swift action in this case sends a clear message that such crimes will be met with severe consequences.


Author: CrimeDoor

5 Responses

  1. It is truly disheartening to hear about cases like this where vulnerable individuals are taken advantage of. In light of this, I would like to recommend that everyone, especially the elderly, consider getting legal protection services such as LegalShield. LegalShield provides affordable access to legal advice and representation, ensuring that you have the resources to protect yourself from potential scams and frauds. It’s always better to be proactive and have the necessary legal support in place to safeguard your interests. Stay informed and protected!

  2. Did you know that according to the Federal Trade Commission, older adults are more likely to be targeted and fall victim to fraud? In fact, individuals aged 60 and older are more susceptible to financial scams, making up 80% of the victims. It’s important to stay vigilant and protect our elderly loved ones from such schemes.

  3. It is important to be aware of scams and fraud schemes that specifically target elderly individuals. If you or someone you know is concerned about potential fraud or financial exploitation, there are resources available to help. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) has a comprehensive guide on how to protect yourself or a loved one from financial scams. You can find it here:

  4. “The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.” – Jimmy Carter

    This quote resonates with the post because it highlights the importance of protecting and caring for vulnerable members of society, such as the elderly. Phillip Roy Wasserman’s fraudulent scheme specifically targeted elderly individuals, taking advantage of their trust and potentially causing them significant harm. The quote reminds us that a just society is one that ensures the well-being and safety of its most vulnerable members. It serves as a

  5. Wow, this is a truly eye-opening post. It’s important to shed light on cases like these to raise awareness about the vulnerability of elderly individuals to fraudulent schemes. The inclusion of Phillip Roy Wasserman’s name and background adds credibility to the article. Great job in providing the necessary information and highlighting the consequences of his actions.

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