Former Grove man gets 27 months for fraud, money laundering
TULSA – A former Grove insurance agent accused of milking a half-million dollars from clients was sentenced last week to 27 months in a federal prison.
Gary Edward Hibbing, 53, of Chino, California, pleaded guilty earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Tulsa to two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.
The former owner of Grand Lake Investments and Insurance, conned 20 clients living in northeast Oklahoma out of $505,126.43, according to his plea agreement.
“He took advantage of his clients’ trust,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak.
Hibbing was also ordered to pay $505,126.43 in restitution. His federal prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release.
Hibbing confessed to lying to his clients to convince them to surrender their existing annuities and immediately purchase new ones. He also intentionally failed to disclose early termination penalties and provided false information to insurance companies to facilitate his scheme, the plea agreement states.
The investigation found that one of Hibbing’s clients lost nearly $14,000 for surrendering one policy while Hibbing’s commission on the client’s new annuity was more than $17,000. Investigators found fraud tied to 80 different annuity policies from Oct. 17, 2007 to March 4, 2013.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department revoked Hibbing’s license on March 4, 2013, but he continued to sell annuities by forging another agent’s name to transact business.