MIAMI, Fla.- The mastermind of an $800 million insurance scam that stands as one of the largest fraud schemes in Florida history has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.
A federal judge imposed the hearing Friday on Joel Steinger, former chief of Fort Lauderdale-based Mutual Benefits Corp. Steinger pleaded guilty in March to mail and wire fraud conspiracy charges. Steinger's lawyer had sought a more lenient penalty.
Prosecutors say Mutual Benefits was a massive fraud scheme in which investors lost about $830 million between 1994 and 2004. There were about 30,000 victims around the world.
The now-defunct company bought life insurance policies from people with AIDS, cancer and other chronic illnesses and sold them to investors. Prosecutors say the numbers were manipulated and investors misled.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)