Earlier this year Janice Edwina Demmitt was convicted of the federal felony offenses charged in a 27-count indictment against her and her son, Timothy Fry. At trial, Demmitt was convicted on on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, eight counts of wire fraud and 11 counts of money laundering. Her son, Fry, whom plead guilty to one count of money laundering is now serving an 87 month prison sentence. Both were ordered to pay, jointly and severally, nearly $600,000 in restitution. Demmitt will now face 70 months in prison, herself.
Between 2006 and 2009, Demmitt and her son ran an insurance agency in Amarillo, Texas, and as part of their business, as registered agents of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, they sold annuities to investors. The majority of their clients were elderly investors.
Fry and Demmitt represented to their clients that Allianz would match each investment they made, up to $100,000, and encouraged their investors to either cash-in or borrow against their existing Allianz annuities and use those proceeds to reinvest to take advantage of the “matching” funds.
However, instead of reinvesting their funds as they told their clients they would do, Fry and Demmitt deposited the funds into their personal accounts.
In fact, evidence presented showed that they tricked their investors with the promise of the matching investment money so that the clients would liquidate their legitimate investment accounts. Approximately $600,000 in client funds was transferred into Fry’s and Demmitt’s personal accounts.
“Ms. Demmitt’s greed robbed her clients, most of them in their golden years, of their hard-earned security,” said U.S. Attorney Saldaña. “In fact, she not only robbed these vulnerable clients of their savings, she robbed them of their dignity. This office will continue to make it a priority to protect those in need of our help.”
“The IRS Criminal Investigation Division is committed to lending its financial expertise to investigations of professionals who target vulnerable individuals’ money for the purpose of lining their personal piggy banks,” said Andrea D. Whelan, IRS Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Office.
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