|By John Bear, Alamogordo Daily News, N.M.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
According to a 12th
Twelfth Judicial Deputy District Attorney
Sugg said Turner sold fake insurance policies through the
"He tells Cleveland, 'I've got this great investment for you. Why don't you buy these insurance policies instead of me going to the bank and having the bank provide the financing,'" Sugg said.
He said Turner was using real client names — many out of
"It's almost like a Ponzi scheme," Sugg said. "But it doesn't build on other people. It just builds on the same victim."
Sugg said the insurance agency is still in operation — with offices in
"To my knowledge he is still a licensed insurance broker," he said.
Sugg said Cleveland bought 69 contracts from Turner, the first 11 being paid back in full. Eventually, Turner could not keep up with the monthly obligation to his victim, so the scheme unraveled.
He said that Turner enlisted two of his employees to falsify documents after Cleveland became suspicious.
Sugg said one of the employees,
Under the agreement, Turner agrees to pay full restitution to Cleveland. A restitution hearing is scheduled for next month. The prosecution estimates that Turner will owe Cleveland about
Sugg said Turner — who remains free pending sentencing — faces 20 years in prison if he makes full restitution.
If he fails to make full restitution before sentencing in January of next year, he faces no less than five years and no more than 30 years in prison, Sugg said.
"Regardless of whether he pays the restitution or not, we are still going to be seeking incarceration," he said. "We're going to be asking on the high end, regardless, either 20 years or 30 years."
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