Federal prosecutors say a former insurance agent and owner of Grand Lake Investments and Insurance in Grove has pleaded guilty to fraud.
Danny Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma says 52-year-old Gary Hibbing caused his clients to lose $505,126.43 through a scheme called "twisting."
In a news release, Williams said twisting is an insurance industry term that refers to the fraudulent practice by an insurance agent of convincing a client to surrender an existing annuity in exchange for a new one. Because there is usually a penalty for early termination of an annuity, the client often loses money while the agent makes money on a new commission.
“The defendant perpetrated a scheme to defraud his clients who entrusted him with their annuities,” said U.S. Attorney Williams.
“My office and our law enforcement partners are committed to an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. We are committed to ensuring that justice is provided for the victims.”
During a hearing in federal court in Tulsa, Gary Hibbing pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and two counts of unlawful monetary transactions.
Hibbing was indicted in August 2015. Sentencing is scheduled in July.
Williams say Hibbing faces imprisonment terms up to 20 years on the wire fraud counts and up to 10 years on the unlawful monetary transaction counts.