Former Life Insurance Agent Indicted for Stealing More Than $275,000 From Nearly Fifty Customers
Allegedly Used False Documents to Withdraw from Customers Accounts; Several Victims were Elderly
BOSTON – A former life insurance agent at Prudential Financial, Inc. (Prudential) has been indicted for stealing more than $275,000 from 49 of her customers, some of whom were elderly, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. The defendant allegedly used false documents to request withdrawals from customer accounts, which she then deposited into her own personal bank accounts.
Susan Abbott, age 55, of Quincy, was indicted on Monday by a Statewide Grand Jury on five counts of Larceny over $250, including three counts of Larceny over $250 from a Person over Sixty and one count of Larceny over $250 by Single Scheme, as well as one count each of Identity Fraud, Forgery, and Uttering. She will be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court at a later date.
Prudential referred this matter to the AG’s Office after conducting an initial internal investigation, which led to Abbott’s termination from Prudential. Abbott had worked from her own office in Quincy as a Prudential life insurance agent. Authorities allege that between March 2007 and May 2009 Abbott allegedly stole more than $275,000 from 49 customers and used those funds for her own personal use.
The investigation revealed that Abbott stole the majority of the money from her clients in the form of loans and withdrawals of equity built into their life insurance policies. It is alleged that Abbott made false representations to her clients and Prudential in order to make approximately $209,000 in equity withdrawals from her clients’ accounts. These equity withdrawals, in the form of checks issued by Prudential, were allegedly then deposited into personal bank accounts controlled and used by Abbott.
On many occasions, Abbott allegedly forged letters from her clients requesting that equity withdrawals from their accounts be sent to her office and submitted those letters to Prudential.
Several of the victims involved in this scheme were elderly, and Abbott stole a significant amount of money, between $18,500 and $25,000, from three of these elderly victims in particular.
Additionally, Abbott allegedly stole more than $70,000 from a single customer, who had asked her to assist in the transfer of funds into a retirement account managed by Prudential.
Prudential is working to resolve issues pertaining to this case with their clients.
A Statewide County Grand Jury returned indictments against Abbott on Monday. She is scheduled to be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court at a later date.
These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Andrew Doherty of AG Coakley’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division and Investigator Bryan Freitas of the AG’s Financial Investigations Division, with assistance from members of the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, Victim Witness Advocate Megan Murphy of the AG’s Victim Services Division and the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab. Prudential provided assistance and cooperated fully with the investigation.