$129-Million Restitution Ordered in Fraud Case

Associated Press

A company at the heart of an international investment scam was ordered to pay $129 million in restitution, and a Los Angeles woman, who admitted laundering money in the fraud, was sentenced to federal prison.

American Benefits Services was ordered to pay the restitution on a corporate guilty plea in the case of three companies accused of fleecing more than 3,000 people with promises of high returns on purchases of life insurance policies from the terminally ill.

Prosecutors charged most of the money was spent by insiders on two dozen homes, 34 cars, two helicopters and a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., burrito shop.

Cheryl Poindexter, 53, of Studio City, was ordered to spend a year in prison and pay $759,173 restitution on a plea admitting she laundered at least $197,000 in fraud profits for her boyfriend, federal prosecutors said Monday.

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