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Wentzville Man Indicted on Fraud Charges

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Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A Wentzville man has been indicted for his alleged scheme to defraud investors by making false promises of high rates of return and minimal risk.

The indictment states that James Staley defrauded 11 investors/lenders by causing them to invest over $3.4 million, giving him commissions totaling over $570,000.

According to the indictment, in 2007, James Staley operated Wealth Financial International. That same year, he became a sales agent for a Premium Financing Company located in California known as B & B Equity. As a sales agent Staley found individuals to provide loans for life insurance policies. In many instances, several of these investor/lender’s funds were bundled together to provide financing to purchase one life insurance policy. Staley received a commission for each investor/lender that he found to contribute financing for the purchasing of the life insurance policies.

B & B required the lender/investor to invest in the insurance policy for a fixed period of time varying from 18 months to two years. During this period of time Staley represented to clients of Wealth Financial that B & B Premium Financing Company would sell the bundled insurance policies on the open market with guaranteed returns. However, Staley was well aware that if B & B was unable to secure a buyer for the bundled insurance policies that his clients would lose all their monies invested in the Premium Financing product sold by B & B.

The indictment states that Staley defrauded eleven investors/lenders by causing them to invest over $3.4 million with B & B, giving him commissions totaling over $570,000.

Staley, 39, was indicted by a federal grand jury on three felony counts of wire fraud on June 18, 2014. He appeared in federal court earlier this week.

If convicted, wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

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