A federal district court in Baltimore, Maryland, unsealed an indictment today charging a Maryland couple with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and related charges for money laundering, filing false tax returns and identity theft.
The indictment charges that from 1996 to the present, James and Maureen Wilson, of Owings Mills, allegedly conspired to defraud insurance companies by obtaining over 30 life insurance policies for applicants by mispresenting their health, wealth and existing life insurance coverage. The total death benefits from these policies allegedly was approximately $20 million. The indictment also charges that the Wilsons conspired to defraud individual investors to obtain funds that the Wilsons used to pay premiums on fraudulently-obtained life insurance policies. To conceal the fraud, the Wilsons allegedly transferred the proceeds of the fraud through multiple bank accounts, including accounts in the name of trusts. The Wilsons allegedly did not report approximately $5.7 million and $2 million that they received in life insurance proceeds on their 2018 and 2019 individual tax returns.
James Wilson is scheduled for his initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Maureen Wilson’s initial appearance is scheduled for Sept. 20 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
If convicted, the Wilsons faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering; and three years in prison for each count of filing a false tax return. James Wilson faces two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft and Maureen Wilson faces 10 years in prison for transactional money laundering. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Maryland, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Darrell J. Waldon of IRS-Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office, made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case, with assistance from the Maryland Insurance Administration and the Maryland Office of the Attorney General.
Trial Attorney Shawn Noud of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Phelps and Stephanie Williamson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.