An insurance agent who held himself out as a financial adviser and stole $1.9 million from nine clients, using it for vacations to Florida and Hawaii among other things, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and a related charge in federal court Wednesday.
Larry J. Horsey, 41, of Chesterfield County faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced March 17 by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. In pleading guilty, Horsey admitted to conducting the scheme from 2012 until this June, using his business, the Heroes Academy, on Buford Road.
According to a criminal information filing, Horsey realized in October 2012 that his business – which he described as a nonprofit financial educational school – was in trouble and that he could not afford to meet his payroll and lease for his suite of offices. The business also offered financial planning services.
He admitted approaching clients he met at one of his financial seminars, or who were referred by others, and proposed that they transfer funds into annuities, IRAs or other long-term investments that he would manage for them. He frequently showed them promotional material from legitimate annuity companies.
The clients transferred their money to Horsey by checks made out to the Heroes Academy, and Horsey deposited them in his business’s bank account. But rather than use the money as real annuities or other investments, he used the money for personal and business expenses.
He created fraudulent statements and other documents that he mailed to clients to reassure them their funds were safe. He also made small regular payments to at least two early clients that he said were a regular monthly return on their annuities.
Horsey also admitted in an 11-page signed statement that, in addition to the vacations, he also spent the money to support a local semipro football team and other entertainment.