Koreasa Maria Williams, 47, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced on September 30, 2022, by United States District Judge Jennifer G. Zipps to 136 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to her victims. Williams previously pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud. The sentence was ordered to run concurrent to a 51-month sentence for an earlier annuity fraud scheme.
Williams, a licensed insurance agent, defrauded an 80-year-old client of over $1 million. In October 2018, realizing she was under investigation for the earlier annuity theft scheme, Williams advised the victim to cash out eight life insurance policies and obtain approximately $1 million, under the false promise that the life insurance funds would be better invested in annuities.
She then tricked the victim into writing two checks totaling over $1 million to a law firm under the guise that the law firm worked for Williams’ annuity company and that the funds would be used to purchase an annuity for the victim. Williams then delivered the checks from the victim and told the law firm the checks were a loan from her “rich uncle.” She then directed the law firm to use the money to pay back multiple victims from the earlier annuity theft scheme in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid criminal charges.
After Williams was indicted in the annuity theft scheme and released on bond in May 2019, she deceived the victim into giving her additional funds between June 2019 and December 2019. Williams then used that money for herself and her family over the next six months via thousands of dollars in bulk cash withdrawals, supermarket and convenience store debits, car payments, cable fees, movie theater purchases, and donations to a religious ministry in North Carolina with which Williams was affiliated, her local church, and a local charity.
This case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative .
If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is staffed 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday. English, Spanish, and other languages are available.
Learn more about the Justice Department’s Elder Justice Initiative at http://www.justice.gov/elderjustice.