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Former Iowa Insurance Agent Sentenced for Defrauding Elderly - 19 Years

Former Iowa insurance agent sentenced to 19 years for defrauding elderly clients out of retirement savings, totaling over $1 million.

A former Iowa insurance agent and annuity salesman, Zach Flaherty, was recently sentenced to 19 years in prison for defrauding elderly individuals out of their retirement savings. The federal judge handed down a sentence of 228 months, with 222 months for wire fraud and an additional six months for contempt.

Flaherty, age 47, from Clive, pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in November 2023. The U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Iowa revealed that Flaherty confessed to defrauding some of his insurance clients by making false statements to obtain financial benefits for himself at the expense of his clients.

One of the victims was told by Flaherty that he would invest the proceeds from the sale of her house on her behalf, despite knowing that this was not true. The victim ended up writing two checks totaling $170,000 to a company owned or operated by Flaherty. He used the money for personal gain, purchasing assets like a boat and automobiles.

Prosecutors claim that victims wrote over $1 million in checks to Flaherty, with more than $650,000 defrauded from insurance companies. The Iowa Insurance Division's Fraud Bureau, along with the FBI, investigated the case with assistance from the Moines Police Department, Clive Police Department, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety's Division of Criminal Investigation.

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